Sydney Sweeney was a victim of SNL’s ‘hot woman edit’, but history tells us things could have been worse.

Of course, there is something to be said in favour of self-deprecating humour. There is absolutely a place for it, especially in Hollywood where delusions of grandeur can make it seem like everything is a bit too serious. But when SNL largely relied on Sweeney’s looks to inform the majority of the jokes, it felt sexist and a huge overshadowing of her genuine talents.

But this isn’t the first time SNL has fallen on cheap, sexist comedy without actually trying to give dimensions to their female guests. 

In 2004 Lindsay Lohan was the actress du jour after the iconic film Mean Girls was met with worldwide acclaim. As a result, SNL writers reduced her to little more than an object to be ogled at in the “Hermione Granger” sketch.

When Margot Robbie hosted SNL in 2016 she starred in a sketch called “Live Report” and an ongoing joke was made about how her character was too good-looking to be married to a ‘regular’ guy. That’s it, that’s the whole joke.

In 2009 host Megan Fox was given a similar treatment in a sketch called “Russian Bride”. I think you can gather from the title it wasn’t doing her any favours and merely made a joke through the male gaze that went nowhere fast and for too long.

SNL’s ‘hot woman’ edit has raised eyebrows in the past and yet decades later it’s still taking place. 

Maybe SNL just isn’t layered enough to approach a woman’s abilities and talents outside of their looks. And yet they’ve managed to make statements outside of the world of satire many times before.