FOP to ‘SNL’: Be nice to the BPD

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A still of the skit “Traffic Stop.” Image via YouTube.

Eleven people were shot in the City of Baltimore yesterday, but outgoing police union president¬†Lt. Gene Ryan has more important things to tackle, like wagging his finger at “Saturday Night Live” and producer Lorne Michaels for having a sketch with three actresses in Baltimore Police Department uniforms.

Titled “Traffic Stop,” the sketch stars Baltimore-area native Ego Nwodim and Leslie Jones as two officers who pull over a driver, played by Seth Meyers. Nwodim’s character tells the man they asked him to get out of his car “because you fine as hell, that’s why,” which leads to a sing-along of Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” cunnilingus puns about “going downtown” and a TV sitcom title card for the “Thirsty Cops.”

Watch it below:

Aside from Kate McKinnon, who plays an officer providing backup, attempting a Bawlmer accent when she says “OHver here” and “inapprOpriate” (I’d give her a solid B), the BPD uniforms are pretty much immaterial. The sketch would work with any police department in the U.S.

But Ryan writes–apparently with a straight face–this was a “grossly inapt portrayal” of the officers he represents. Alluding to the BPD as a “very beleaguered agency in the throes of massive amounts of criticism and disrespect,” a reference that could apply to oh so many scandals and acts of misconduct, Ryan said younger officers are struggling with the idea of staying on the force.

“It is a difficult time in Baltimore and to portray our brave, hard-working members with such an inappropriate manner is very unfortunate,” he writes.

Again, it’s safe to say that this very obvious comedic parody was not meant to be an accurate portrayal of Baltimore police officers, and is not even a specific commentary on the department itself, but OK.

Here’s the full letter, if you want to bother reading it:

Ryan writes that he understands the “iconic ‘Saturday Night Live'” is a resource for the laughter people need in their lives, but that “humor at the expense of our brave membership is not humor at all.”

But the joke’s on him, because this four-day-old skit is back in the news because he somehow thought it was a topic that needed to be addressed seriously.

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]
Brandon Weigel


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