Woody Harrelson sparked outrage on Saturday Night Live by making an anti-vax joke during his opening monologue.
The True Detective star, 61, told a long and rambling story about the “craziest script” he’s ever read on last night’s episode (25 February).
After getting distracted talking about smoking weed, his love of drinking, and what kind of tree he was sitting against when he read the script, he took about six minutes to get to the punchline.
“So the movie goes like this,” he finally concluded. The world’s largest drug cartels band together to buy up all of the media and all of the politicians, forcing everyone to stay at home.
“And people can only come out if they take the cartel’s drugs and continue to take them.”
“I threw the script away,” the actor told an awkwardly quiet audience. Who was going to believe that insane idea? Being compelled to use drugs? I do it on my own time all day.”
Many people criticized Harrelson’s monologue. “Thank you, @nbcsnl, for the insipid anti-vax monologue by Woody Harrelson,” producer Lee Goldberg tweeted. “Who will be the guest host next week, Scott Adams?”
Adams is a cartoonist whose work was removed from several US newspapers after he made racist remarks.
Another Harrelson critic tweeted: “It’s not just some harmless view given the disinformation and a platform like SNL should know better.”
“What was this anti-vax nonsense?” remarked a third.
This isn’t the first time Harrelson’s views on the Covid pandemic have raised eyebrows. “As someone who doesn’t believe in the germ theory, I find it rather absurd,” he said of mask-wearing in an interview with Vanity Fair.
He also shared a since-deleted Instagram post that linked 5G and Covid, calling it “very interesting”.