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SNL tackles Derek Chauvin trial and America’s racial tension in cold open: ‘We’ve seen this movie before’

Clémence Michallon
·1-min read
Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, and Kate McKinnon on SNL (Twitter/NBCSNL)
Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, and Kate McKinnon on SNL (Twitter/NBCSNL)

Saturday Night Live dedicated its cold open to Derek Chauvin’s trial on Saturday (10 April), in the form of a segment featuring four morning TV anchors discussing the proceedings.

Alex Moffat, Kate McKinnon, Ego Nwodim, and Kenan Thompson starred as the four journalists broadcasting from Minnesota, where the trial has been taking place. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, has been charged in the death of George Floyd. He is facing charges of second- and third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

During their exchange, it became clear that the group had diverging opinions on whether the trial would result in a conviction or an acquittal.

McKinnon and Moffat’s characters leaned toward a conviction, while Nwodim and Thompson’s characters believed an acquittal was possible.

“Let’s just say we’ve seen this movie before,” Nwodim said, expressing her skepticism.

When McKinnon underlined the possible impact of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, Thompson commented: “She means well,” and Nwodim concluded: “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

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The news anchors then moved on to another topic of discussion, with McKinnon reminding the group that “unfortunately, we lost royalty yesterday” – a reference to Prince Philip.

But Nwodim interpreted her sentence differently and replied: “Yes, the rapper DMX died.”

When Moffat tried to clarify: “She means Prince Philip of England,” Thompson replied: “Meghan Markle’s boyfriend?”

Both Prince Philip and DMX died on Friday. The Palace has unveiled details of a televised funeral for Prince Philip. Fans and figures across the music industry have shared tributes to DMX.

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