(NEW YORK TIMES) — It’s a question that has hovered over nearly every new episode of “Saturday Night Live” this season: How will this sketch show, which sits at the intersection of pop culture and politics, handle the latest accusation of sexual misconduct by a prominent, powerful man?
In past installments, depending on the man in question, “S.N.L.” has addressed the topic belatedly (with Harvey Weinstein), profusely (Roy S. Moore) or fleetingly (Louis C.K.).
But this weekend, the question became especially delicate: How would “Saturday Night Live” take aim at Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, who on Thursday apologized after he was accused of groping and forcibly kissing Leeann Tweeden, a radio newscaster, during a U.S.O. tour in 2006? Would the show acknowledge this at all? As if anyone needed reminding, Mr. Franken is one of the most successful alumni of “S.N.L.”: a founding member of the show’s writing staff, a frequent performer in its earliest years and a featured cast member and contributor throughout the 1980s and ’90s.