Saturday Night Live parodied the controversy surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden, whose past behavior with women has come under scrutiny in recent weeks as he prepares to launch a possible bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Jason Sudeikis returned to play Biden in the skit, where two aides introduced Biden to a consultant to explain why some of his behavior crossed a line.
In the sketch, Biden immediately welcomed the consultant, Gwen, played by Kate McKinnon, by putting his head to hers and rubbing her shoulders.
"This is exactly the kind of thing I'm here to prevent," Gwen said.
"It turns out I'm one percent Eskimo, so I'm allowed to do the kissing," Biden said.
Later on, Gwen tried to explain to Biden how he should greet female strangers.
"Am I still allowed to do that gorgeous lift they do at the end of Dirty Dancing? Is that still OK?" Biden asked.
"Who would you do that with?"
"Hell, I don't know... whoever's strong enough to pick me up, I guess."
Next, Gwen brought in female Democratic voters to express their concerns.
The string of allegations against Biden began on March 29, when former Democratic Nevada State Rep. Lucy Flores came forward in New York Magazine. Other women came forward in the New York Times and Washington Post, with similar allegations of unwanted touching.
Biden, who has long been known to kiss and hugged women in ways that have made many feel uncomfortable, released a video on April 3 about the allegations. In the video, he insisted he would be "more mindful about respecting personal space in the future."
"It's just who I am. I've never thought of politics as cold or antiseptic," Biden said in the clip. "I’ve always tried to be, in my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say you can do this. It’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I’ve tried to show I care about them and I’m listening.”
Biden continued, "I get it. I get it. I hear what they're saying. I understand. I’ll be much more mindful."
However, during a speech at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers on Friday in Washington, Biden joked about the allegations, inspiring critics to wonder if he was serious about changing his behavior.
According to USA Today, Biden told the crowd he "had permission to hug Lonnie" after IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson introduced him. Later, Biden invited children on stage and put his arm around one of the boys, telling the crowd, "He gave me permission to touch him."0comments
Although President Donald Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past, the president used the controversy to mock Biden. On April 4, he shared an edited version of Biden's Twitter apology made to look like Biden was putting his hands on himself. According to the Daily Beast, it appears the video originated from the Twitter account @CarpeDonktum.
This week's Saturday Night Live was hosted by Game of Thrones star Kit Harington and featured performances from Sara Bareilles.