Top Republican Elise Stefanik's team fires back at NBC's Saturday Night Live 'terrible' skit featuring testimony from the presidents of Harvard, UPenn, and MIT on anti-Semitism at the nation's top universities.
Stefanik's line of questioning in the skit came during a hearing last week where she put liberal university presidents first, asking them whether “calling for genocide of Jews” would violate their schools' codes of conduct .
The presidents were labeled anti-Semites and accused of failing to immediately condemn calls for genocide. And while SNL thought the congressional testimony was laughable, the consequences were real for UPenn's Liz Magill, who was forced to resign after the backlash.
A top adviser to the Republican leadership told DailyMail.com that although Stefanik has not seen the skit, her office has been “inundated” with messages from Republicans and Democrats who were “shocked and disgusted by the anti-Semitic garbage spewed by unfunny, moral bankrupt comedians.
“SNL made history with its worst cold snap ever because everyone knows there is absolutely no humor in the university presidents' vile responses about their failure to condemn calls for genocide against the Jewish people,” said senior advisor Alex DeGrasse.
Stefanik's line of questioning in the skit came during a hearing last week where she put liberal university presidents on the spot and asked them whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate their schools' codes of conduct.
Saturday Night Live Continues to Face Massive Backlash Over 'Tone-Deaf' Outline of Congressional Hearings on Campus Anti-Semitism
Former SNL star Strong would rep. Elise Stefanik plays in the sketch, but was replaced by newcomer Chloe Troast after the dress rehearsal
“If the speech turns into behavior, it could be harassment, yes,” Magill told Stefanik last week.
Pressed further, she said, “It's a context-dependent decision, Congressman.” Harvard President Claudine Gay and MIT President Sally Kornbluth gave similar responses to Stefanik.
On Saturday, Stefanik said in a statement that Magill's “forced resignation” is the “bare minimum of what is necessary” and that Harvard and MIT should follow suit.
“One down. Two more to go,” Stefanik said, adding that “this is just the very beginning of tackling the widespread rot of anti-Semitism that has destroyed America's most 'prestigious' institutions of higher education.”
Universities in the US have been accused of failing to protect Jewish students amid rising fears of anti-Semitism worldwide and the fallout from Israel's intensification of the war in Gaza, which is facing increased criticism over the rising Palestinian death toll.
Former SNL star Cecily Strong even pulled out of the offensive skit about the congressional hearings on anti-Semitism on campus, according to a new report.
Strong, 39, was scheduled to play against representative Elise Stefanik on Saturday and even took part in the dress rehearsal before the live show.
However, she changed her mind at the last minute, sources told The New York Post, and was replaced by newcomer Chloe Troast.
Greg Gutfeld, host of Fox News' The Five, was one of several critics of the sketch, writing on X: “How do you explain SNL siding with Ivy League neo-racists? wondering which colleges their writers attended.'
Rabbi Shmuel Reichman said the skit was the “most embarrassing” he has ever seen.
“Unfortunately, this isn't surprising… SNL hasn't had its finger on the pulse for about a decade; they are about as out of touch with reality as Liz Magill… This is probably the most embarrassing decision in SNL history,” the author wrote.
“(Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, and Adam Sandler are probably shaking their heads in disgust somewhere, embarrassed by how low SNL has sunk since their heyday.)”
Fellow rabbi and writer David Bashevkin added: SNL's Achilles heel thinks the joke is always on Trump. I'm an SNL fan, but this was such a failure.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, appointed by President Donald Trump, also addressed the sketch.
“I just watched last night's SNL opener. Whether or not you care about anti-Semitism on college campuses, or however you feel, this just wasn't funny,” Friedman said.
For his part, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted: “The skit was awful. The sentiment is even more terrible.'
And the Republican representative of North Carolina. Greg Murphy demanded “nothing less than a full-fledged apology from the entire SNL staff” after the skit.
He wrote on Typical damn liberal hypocrisy.”
Conservative radio host Larry Elder also joined in, writing about X: “It's been a while since I watched SNL. I quickly remembered why. Cringing. Why is it not anti-Semitic to mock a critic of anti-Semitism for her criticism of anti-Semitism?'
Meanwhile, former State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert accused the NBC show of 'hating Republicans more than anti-Semitism'
And Babylon Bee Editor-in-Chief Kyle Mann was sad: “It's actually quite incredible how this sketch showed liberals unwilling to call genocide bad — and they were NOT the punchline of the joke. It just goes to show how unfunny you can become if you're not willing to make fun of the people on your side.”
Ben Domenech, editor-in-chief of The Spectator, continued: “The rotting shell of SNL can mock this all they want. The damage has been done, heads are rolling, and all because of a very simple question.”
Domenech's wife Meghan McCain also spoke about the skit: 'There's been a 400% increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes since October 7 and SNL thinks it's hilarious…. This is mean. Despicable.'
Several others posted on X calling on the show to apologize.
SNL creator Lorne Michaels was born to a Jewish family from Toronto before moving to Los Angeles in 1968. He created SNL in 1975 and has overseen it for most of its 50-year existence.
The pre-written draft was rolled out just hours after University of Pennsylvania President Amy Magill — whose testimony before the House panel seemed particularly smug — resigned in disgrace after a dismal performance over the past eight weeks.
In a moment intended to ridicule Stefanik's hearing performance, which has been widely praised, she said, “I'm going to scream questions at these women like Billy Eichner.”
'Anti-Semitism – yes or no?' she shouted at the three women playing the university president.
'Yes or no! Does the call for genocide of the Jews violate Harvard's code of conduct?'
The actress who plays Harvard University's Claudine Gay responded, “Well, it depends on the context.”
'What? That can't be your answer,” Troast's Stefanik replied, echoing the shocking interaction between the two in the real world.
“UPenn lady, same question, yes or no?” she asked the actress playing Magill.
“If you don't say yes, you're making me look good, and that's really hard to do,” she continued. “So I'll ask you honestly. Do you think genocide is bad?'
iHeart Radio host Mark Simone wrote on
While SNL thought the congressional testimony was laughable, the consequences were real for UPenn's Liz Magill, who has since been forced to resign from her position
Harvard President Claudine Gay during the congressional hearing on anti-Semitism on campus
MIT President Sally Kornbluth's testimony was widely criticized