(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.).
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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.