Adele's 'insensitive' Africa-themed SNL skit sparks outrage

Kristine Tarbert
·Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Adele may have had many people talking about her incredible weight loss transformation after returning to the spotlight to host Saturday Night Live for the first time in her career over the weekend.

However, not all viewers were happy with the singer’s appearance on the US comedy show, with many taking to social media to slam the star for a skit they are calling “inappropriate” and “tone deaf”.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Adele" Episode 1789 -- Pictured: Host Adele during the Monologue on Saturday, October 24, 2020 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Adele returned to the spotlight as the host of SNL. Photo: Getty

The comedy skit in question mocked sex tourism in Africa, aimed at poking fun at the growing number of white middle-aged divorcees who travel to the continent for no frills sex.

Adele, alongside American actress Kate McKinnon, perform the skit to camera in front of a beach backdrop, pretending to be in an African Tourist Board ad.

“I found a deep, deep connection,” Adele says in the three-minute performance, which also featured a shirtless black man.

adele SNL africa skit
Adele pretended to be the voice for an African Tourism ad. Photo: Twitter

But while some found the skit funny, many viewers were quick to express their outrage on Twitter.

“Did I really just see a sketch about white women using Africa as their buffet for oversexed and over-endowed African ‘tribesmen’ who carry them around on their shoulders, starring Adele fresh off a Bantu knot minstrel show outrage? Truly unbelievable,” one person wrote.

Another viewer called the skit “totally insensitive”.

“I just watched Adele’s African tourism skit from SNL last night,” they wrote. “There were SO many chances before that thing went live on air for people to look around at each other and say, ‘you know what, this ain’t it.’ And no one did.

“Not only was it totally insensitive and reducing an entire continent to sexual wasn’t funny. Like not even a little. I didn’t even crack a smile while watching it.”

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

A third person said: “I was actually enjoying it until the comments and the black men carrying white women around. Actually felt a bit sick and couldn‘t enjoy the rest and I adore Adele but I wish she hadn’t taken part in this skit.”

The backlash comes just weeks after the Grammy-winner was called out for cultural appropriation, after sharing a snap of herself dressed up for the Notting Hill Carnival.

The star was kitted out in a Jamaican flag bikini, Bantu bun hairstyle and yellow feather headdress all worn with a pair of standard grey tights.


“If 2020 couldn't get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for,” US journalist Ernest Owens slammed the star for her post. “This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic. Hate to see it.”

adele bikini row
Adele's carnival photo also sparked some backlash online. Photo: Twitter

Some Londoners, however, hit back that the festival was famously a celebration of different cultures which people were invited to participate in.

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual London festival that celebrates Caribbean and Black British life and culture.

“It’s definitely not cultural appropriation if Jamaicans are sharing our culture with her,” one person said.

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