The recent showdown between California Senator Dianne Feinstein and a bunch of young climate activists asking her to back the Green New Deal has taken social media by storm.
Want to relive the heated exchange? Saturday Night Live has you covered. In an unaired sketch, comedian Cecily Strong plays a feisty, condescending version of the Democratic senator. She did not hold back.
“Oh, I see what’s happening,” Strong tells the kids in the video. “You’re gonna tell me how to do my job. OK, well, I don’t come into your first-grade classroom and knock the Elmer’s glue out of your mouth, do I? So why don’t you stay in your lane and step the f#$@ off?”
As each attempt to talk to the kids goes awry, Strong keeps asking for a do-over. One kid states the obvious: “You’re mean.”
The skit is laugh-out-loud funny, but the producers cut the segment from Saturday’s live show. That decision may have been due to time constraints — the sketches ran longer than normal, according to Rolling Stone. But it may also be a sign that SNL’s producers, like Feinstein, might be a little out of touch on climate change.
There’s another indication that SNL doesn’t know what’s up: In the sketch, one of the children holds up a cute sign that says “Save the Whales.” Seems innocuous, right? Well, the purpose of the protesters’ visit to the senator’s office wasn’t to save ocean creatures — it was to get Feinstein on board with the Green New Deal.
“SNL writers/editors thought that made sense, that climate change — the real subject of the visit — is another version of esoteric critter-saving,” tweeted Vox’s David Roberts, a former Grist writer.
While climate change affects every ecosystem on Earth, “saving the whales” overlooks the point of the Green New Deal. Rather, its intent is to propose an economy-wide transformation that links renewable energy with policies such as universal healthcare and a federal jobs guarantee, addressing that climate change and inequality coexist.