Saturday Night Live’s (SNL) first Latina cast member came under fire this week for deleting over 2,000 tweets that have been referred to as “racist;” mostly directed at African-Americans and Asian-Americans.
However, the issue does not come entirely from the fact that the tweets existed, rather that Melissa Villasenor attempted to hide her racism by making her twitter account private for several days while deleting the score of hate-fueled tweets.
Due to her actions, SNL would be advised to seek a replacement that didn’t disparage others due to their race.
However, what Villasenor forgot was once something is on the internet, it is never truly gone. Attempting to make something disappear draws more attention to the problem than leaving it alone.
This proved true in Villasenor’s case when author and creator of #OscarsSoWhite April Reign used screenshots of some of her tweets to demand an explanation for why they were taken down.
Celebrities make idiotic comments all the time that get them in trouble with different groups. And while that doesn’t make the comments acceptable to say, it does set a precedent for how to handle getting caught in moments of idiocy.
Villasenor didn’t follow this social rule.
If she had apologized when the tweets were brought up and said that’s not how she truly feels — whether or not that is the truth — or even that she recognized the error of her ways and has grown as a person since the time she posted the tweets, people may have been more forgiving.
However, she attempted to make the problem go away by deleting them and has ended up looking guilty, not contrite. That projection is made even worse by the fact that she hasn’t released a statement on the topic.
Ultimately, her position with SNL should be brought into question. At this point, it would look bad on SNL to honor her contract. If they decide to keep her as a cast member, they will have to carefully monitor every sketch she’s in to ensure it doesn’t come across as offensive, especially to the demographics she disparaged.
SNL has until its season premieres at 11:30 p.m. Saturday to decide if Villasenor will remain a cast member. Hopefully, they will choose to let her go due to the immense amount of negative press aimed at the comedian.