Few people probably would imagine the horrifying accusations of sexual assault that have gone public in the past few months, collectively referred to as the #MeToo movement, as a dinner party conversation.
But maybe "Saturday Night Live" was making a point Saturday in its sketch about a literal dinner party: that much of the public conversation about celebrities accused in #MeToo proceeded largely in head-nodding consensus, like agreeable table talk to pass the time while the waiter brings coffee.
At least it did so until one particular celebrity came up.
Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct with young women, lost his Senate election in Alabama. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., agreed to step down after he was accused of groping women. The public conversation moved on to the next allegation.
And then, this month, a woman told a story about a date with actor Aziz Ansari, accusing him of pressuring her into sex acts despite her protests, and — did someone just throw a plate?
The “SNL” sketch begins with a table of couples, amiably discussing dogs and roasted carrots, until cast member Heidi Gardner asks whether anyone read the New York Times op-ed about Ansari.
Which op-ed? The one that rebuked him: "What your dad called the thrill of the chase is now what some people are calling assault"? Or the one that defended him: "Aziz Ansari is guilty. Of not being a mind reader"?
Opinion has almost perfectly split over how to treat the Ansari accusations, as Molly Roberts wrote in The Washington Post. On SNL, no one at the table knew what to say either. The restaurant suddenly darkened. Cast member Beck Bennett hid his face inside his turtleneck, and a horror movie score swelled on the soundtrack.
"I … think," Kate McKinnon stuttered. "I think some women … or rather some men … have a proclivity … help me."
Kenan Thompson tried to form a thought: "While I applaud the movement. …”