Similar to the sketch two years prior, the latest skit centered on Christmas movie stereotypes like a big-time career woman, a black character with no context, a young Santa, a Christmas tree farm, and a prince.
This year’s edition was a Hallmark holiday dating show called A Winter Boyfriend for Holiday Christmas where host Scarlett Johansson portrayed a New York career woman deciding between three eligible bachelors presented by Emily Cringle (Aidy Bryant). Johansson had to choose between Beck Bennett’s Christmas tree farm owner ghost, a British prince (Alex Moffat), and Kyle Mooney’s young Santa, Nick St. Claus.
The sketch also took aim at the lack of racial diversity in Hallmark’s Christmas movies with the British prince ruling “Caucasia” and Chris Redd portraying “the prince’s friend” with no name or backstory.
SNL‘s Hallmark Christmas spoof was timely considering the controversy surrounding the Hallmark Channel’s decision to remove four ads after one featured two brides kissing on their wedding day.
The commercial was pulled after conservative group One Million Moms made a petition online that garnered nearly 25,000 signatures as of Friday. As a result, Zola was told four of their six commercials wouldn’t air on the network.
“The decision not to air overt public displays of affection in our sponsored advertisement, regardless of the participants, is in line with our current policy, which includes not featuring political advertisements, offensive language, R-rated movie content and many other categories,” a Hallmark Channel spokesman told The New York Times.
Zola has since decided to no longer air commercials on the channel. “Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed. All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark,” said Zola’s chief marketing officer Mike Chi.
SNL‘s Weekend Update also took aim at the controversy: