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08th May 2022

SNL: Watch Benedict Cumberbatch tackle the US abortion debate and Depp vs Heard

April Curtin

“We should make a law that will stand the test of time so they’ll look back and say… ‘they nailed it back in 1235”

Benedict Cumberbatch used his opening sketch on Saturday Night Live last night to tackle the abortion argument in the US. The star also snuck in a reference to Johnny Depp’s court battle against Amber Heard.

Hosting the show for the second time in his career, the actor took the audience back to 13th century England, to show the “exact moment three men (played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Dismukes, James Austin Johnson) vote to outlaw abortion,” as SNL explained.

It comes after Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked this week, sparking protests across the US.

Roe v. Wade was the landmark ruling made by the US Supreme Court in 1973, in which abortion was made legal in the country.

Introducing the show on Saturday night, Cumberbatch said: “While I was cleaning the hole on the side of the castle where we poop and then it falls through the sky into a hole of human faeces, I started to think about abortion.

“Don’t you think we ought to make a law against that?”

The actor made sure to blatantly reference Alito’s decision to base his opinion on historical texts, as Cumberbatch’s character praised his own “moral clarity”.

He added, mockingly: “We should make a law that will stand the test of time so that hundreds and hundreds of years from now, they’ll look back and say, ‘No need to update this one at all, they nailed it back in 1235.”

SNL actress Cecily Strong, who played a servant, soon appeared to question the decision. Her character asked: “Shouldn’t women have the right to choose, since having a baby means a 50 percent chance of dying?”

Fellow actress Kate McKinnon told Strong’s character: “Worry not, dear girl, these barbaric laws will some day be overturned by something called ‘progress’. Then, about 50 years after the progres, they’ll be like, ‘Maybe we should undo the progress.’”

Then, referencing the Johnny Depp’s ongoing defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard, McKinnon said: “I don’t know why, my visions from that time are very confusing. It seems like all the power comes from a place called Florida. And if you think our customs are weird, you should watch the trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.”

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