- Conflict & Crisis
Hulu and NBC.com don’t have the skit, which mocks Hugo Chavez; insiders say the decision to withhold it is merely a matter of musical rights and has nothing to do with politics.
Saturday Night Live gently mocked the late Venezuela President Hugo Chavez during its TV broadcast, but NBC is not doing likewise on the Internet, choosing instead to refrain from posting the cold open to Saturday’s show.
The decision is being used as fodder in some circles to accuse NBC of a left-wing political agenda, but insiders say the omission of the sketch at NBC.com, Hulu and other outlets was merely in deference to complicated rules regarding digital uses of musical rights. In fact, another recent sketch in which Adam Levinereferenced music from Jason Mraz and Train also didn’t make it online, nor did one where Bruno Mars sang songs from various bands.
During Saturday’s cold open on SNL‘s TV broadcast, host Justin Timberlake impersonated Elton John singing a version of “Candle in the Wind” with the words changed to reflect the life of Chavez, who died last week at 58.
In the sketch, Timberlake is seated at a piano, where he exclaims, “Everything in this song is true.” Then he sings about the socialist leader calling then-President George W. Bush the devil, how capitalism killed a civilization on Mars and how the United States is responsible for earthquakes.