Hawaiians Irked Over 'SNL' Skit

Last weekend's "Saturday Night Live" included a skit set in a Hawaiian resort. In it, SNL host Dwayne "No Longer Nicknamed '...
by | March 12, 2009

Last weekend's "Saturday Night Live" included a skit set in a Hawaiian resort. In it, SNL host Dwayne "No Longer Nicknamed 'The Rock' " Johnson and cast member Fred Armisen depicted workers at the resort who rain on tourists' vacations by complaining about their state.

From the AP:

When a woman gushes about being in Hawaii for her honeymoon, telling the entertainers "it must be fun working here," they respond sarcastically.

"Yeah, it's great. They make us wear grass skirts," Armisen says. "We make $7 an hour. It's a dream job."

Johnson tells one visitor: "It's a fun fact about Hawaii. Our biggest export is coffee. And our biggest import is fat white tourists!"

He later deliberately knocks over the drinks of a customer who points to the flower lei around his neck and makes a lame joke about getting "lei-ed."

Hawaii officials are none too pleased.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said he's worried the skit might hurt the state's biggest industry and plans to send a letter in protest to Lorne Michaels, the NBC program's executive producer.

The skit "went too far in its negative depiction of Hawaii's native people and tourism industry," Aiona said. He added he wouldn't let "such distortions go unchecked" when the economy is doing so poorly.

SNL stirred some more state-level controversy earlier this season, with a depiction of New York Gov. David Paterson, who is blind, as a bumbling, clumsy guy who kept walking in front of the camera.

Zach Patton  |  Executive Editor
zpatton@governing.com  | 

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