'Saturday Night Live's female stars tackle sexual harassment in darkly ironic music video 'Welcome to Hell'
In the guise of a saccharine-sweet, Katy Perry-esque music video, Saturday Night Livecastmembers Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon and host Saoirse Ronan had a message for all the men in America who are just now realizing the ever-present, relentless horror and reality of sexual harassment and assault that women have been facing in our country for, well, ever.
Rocking pastel and neon outfits, the women performed a mind-blowing and darkly ironic song about the realities of sexual harassment, set to a disconcertingly upbeat synth-pop track.
"All these big, cool, powerful guys are turning out to be, what’s the word? habitual predators?" Bryant sing-talks. "And it's like, dang, is this the world now?"
"Well here's a little secret that every girl knows," Ronan chimes in.
"This been the damn world" Strong says, kicking off the pop-track.
"It's freaky, it's nasty, it's button-under-the-desk bad," the girls sing in unison, referring to one of many recent allegations against fired Today show host Matt Lauer. "But this is our home town, we'll show you around! Welcome to Hell."
As the song continues, the singers – who, as Bryant explains, aren't "a girl crew, we just travel in a pack for safety" -- are joined by fellow castmember Leslie Jones, who stops the song to share some important information about sexual predation in America.
"I just wanted to say, I think what you guys are doing is really cool, I get it, but you do know that it's like a million times worse for a woman of color, right?" Jones explains, before joining her castmates for the rest of the number.
"House of Cards is ruined, and that really sucks," Ronan later sings. "Well here’s a list of stuff that’s ruined for us: Parking and walking and Uber and ponytails, bathrobes and nighttime and drinking and hotels and vans. Nothing good happens in a van."
The prevalence of sexual harassment in Hollywood and politics has been brought into the public spotlight by a slew of celebrities, business moguls and government officials who have been accused of sexual misconduct in recent months.
Most recently, longtime Today show host Matt Lauer was fired by NBC for alleged "inappropriate workplace behavior." Hours after his firing, Variety published a report that included multiple unnamed women who accused the veteran TV news personality of sexual harassment.
Lauer's alleged behavior reportedly includes giving a colleague a sex toy as a present, with a note about how he wanted to use it on her. Another woman alleges he called her to his office and showed her his penis, and then reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act when she declined.
Lauer responded to his termination and the allegations in a statement read on-air by Today show host Savannah Guthrie, one day after being fired.
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry," the 59-year-old former newsman expressed in the statement. "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job."