Baltimore Police Department Criticizes ‘SNL’ for ‘Inappropriate’ Cop Sketch in Open Letter to Lorne Michaels

The sketch aired during the Seth Meyers-hosted episode on October 13.
"Saturday Night Live"

The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police criticized “Saturday Night Live” for its misrepresentation of the city’s police officers in a sketch that aired during the October 13 episode, hosted by Seth Meyers. The sketch, entitled “Traffic Stop,” featured Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and new cast member Ego Nwodim as cops who flirt with a male driver they’ve pulled over. Baltimore PD member Lt. Gene S. Ryan sent the letter to “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels.

“We must take issue with the grossly inapt portrayal of our members during this particular sketch,” the letter states. “As you are most likely aware, the Baltimore Police Department is currently a very beleaguered agency in the throes of massive criticism and disrespect. Many of our members, especially our younger ones, are struggling with their choice of career and we are losing good and credible members daily. It is a difficult time in Baltimore and to portray our brave, hard-working members with such an inappropriate manner is very unfortunate.”

The letter notes the “Traffic Stop” sketch “fell short of being humorous” and felt more like “a sharp jab at a group of people who have dedicated their lives to serving others.”

“Some may think it’s funny, and clearly, you and your cast do as well,” the letter reads. “We, on the other hand, believe that humor at the expense of our brave membership is not humor at all.”

“Saturday Night Live” is currently in the middle of its 44th season on NBC. While the Baltimore PD may not have liked the “Traffic Stop” sketch, IndieWire’s LaToya Ferguson named the sketch the best of the Seth Meyers-hosted episode. Ferguson wrote the clip was the episode’s breakout moment, and the video has earned just under 1 million views on YouTube in the days since the episode aired.

“Saturday Night Live” returns November 3 with a new episode hosted by “Mid90s” writer-director Jonah Hill. You can read the open letter in the embed below.

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