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Ignorant Russia Stereotyping Is Prime Time American Entertainment

We're all for having a laugh, but when the jokes are so stupendously disconnected from Russia as it really exists, we're left feeling horrified for the public being served this pile of nonsense

In case you were wondering why anti-American feeling is so high in Russia these days, below is a video that should shed some light on that.

Saturday Night Live’s resident Russian character, Olya Povlatsky, has returned. While the Povlatsky character has been at least moderately amusing in the past, last night’s skit was not even remotely funny, and in fact, it was outright xenophobic. 

Ironically, just as news on the Russian economy is taking a more positive turn, NBC and SNL thought the time was ripe to inform Americans that Russia is “crumbling”. Weird, since, well….

That’s a striking contrast to just a few weeks ago when…

So, maybe it’s understandable that the geniuses at NBC are a little confused.

SNL is supposed to be funny. I get that — and I get that part of that means leaving political correctness at the door. It means being controversial and flirting with the line between what’s acceptable and what just isn’t. In my opinion, this skit crosses that line.

It’s Russophobic, bigoted, xenophobic. It may be a creation of the writers at SNL, but it reinforces the stereotypes that Washington wants its citizens to hold about Russia. Worst of all, it encourages ignorance at a time when that ignorance could turn dangerous. And just for a cheap laugh.

I thought for a minute that perhaps I was being overly critical, so I asked a friend who has no interest in Russia to watch it and give an honest opinion. This was their response:

“It seems like the goal was purely just to dig at or make fun of any aspect of Russian culture they could think of…and to be honest, it just wasn’t even that funny anyway. I didn’t laugh. It was a bit contrived.”

Stick to making jokes about America, SNL. There’s plenty of material in that. (

Pertinent segment start at 1:57)

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