Did Dakota Johnson's ISIS parody cross a line?
The 50 Shades of Grey star's performance on Saturday Night Live generated lots of buzz, not all of it positive.
"Dad, it's only ISIS."
Less than two weeks after its 40th anniversary, Saturday Night Live is under fire again for green-lighting a sketch depicting a young American woman joining the Islamic State.
The sketch is send-up of a new Toyota Camry commercial titled "My Bold Dad," an emotional flashback through the major phases of a daughter's life while her father is driving her to the airport. "Being a dad is a choice," goes that ad's voiceover. "One that will make a wonderful human being who will make their own choices someday," is the voice-over in the commercial while it shows his daughter gets ready to board a plane to attend basic training.
In the parody version, host Dakota Johnson was playing the girl in the Toyota commercial who had graduated from high school and was being driven to the airport by her father, played by Taran Killam.
But she isn't joining the US Army, or that of any other internationally recognized nation-state for that matter. Instead, Johnson gets picked up by long-bearded men wearing Arab robes, brandishing a black flag, riding on the back of a pick-up truck – also a Toyota, for what it's worth – and firing machine guns into the air.
SNL's studio audience seemed to enjoy the sketch, but reactions were not as cheery on social media. The Lost Angeles Times reported when the parody originally ran, nearly 10,000 tweets contained reactions to Johnson's sketch. Some included the hashtag "NotFunny," to express their displeasure.
Killam, for his part, defended the skit:
But critics of the sketch point to the three London school girls who allegedly fled to Turkey and onto Syria, saying that the parody was insensitive. Roughly 60 women have left England alone to allegedly join IS, according the Independent.
Last month, a Denver girl was sentenced to four years in prison for trying to flee to Turkey on a one-way flight and meet up with ISIS fighters. Her parents reported her to authorities after he father caught her on Skype with her IS suitor.