The Ned Fulmer cheating scandal has been all over the internet these past few weeks. In fact, it’s gotten so big that Saturday Night Live did a whole sketch parodying The Try Guys’ response to Fulmer’s scandal and ousting from the group. However, the bit was met with backlash on Twitter from some viewers who believed the show was making light of the situation.
The sketch began as a breaking news segment parodying CNN. Brendan Gleeson, who hosted SNL on Oct. 8, played a White House correspondent who interrupted the report about President Joe Biden’s support for Ukraine to announce that The Try Guys had responded to Fulmer’s scandal.
IYDK, Fulmer issued a statement on Sept. 27 that he had a “consensual workplace relationship.” While he didn’t state the relationship was with Alex Herring, of the Food Babies group, according to BuzzFeed News, a Redditor claimed they had seen Fulmer and Herring allegedly attending a Harry Styles concert together on Sept. 1 in New York City.
Soon after, the remaining Try Guys — Eugene Lee Yang, Zach Kornfeld, and Keith Habersberger — released a statement saying they’d ousted Fulmer from the company following an “internal review.” On Oct. 3, the trio further addressed the situation in a YouTube video. They said they had removed Fulmer from The Trys Guys after confirming he had an affair with an employee of their company, 2nd Try LLC. The trio said in the video they spent three weeks talking to various lawyers, as well as HR and PR consultants, about how to handle the situation.
The SNL sketch showed comedians Bowen Yang, Mikey Day, and Andrew Dismukes playing Yang, Kornfeld, and Habersberger in their YouTube video. When Ego Nwodim, who played a CNN anchor, asked why the drama was “such a scandal,” the trio explained Fulmer had “committed the heinous act of having a consensual kiss, and not telling us, his friends.”
The sketch received some criticism on Twitter for seemingly downplaying the seriousness of Fulmer engaging in a relationship with one of his employees. Although Gleeson briefly touched on the controversy surrounding the relationship in the parody by saying, “You have to remember the power dynamics,” Mashable pointed out he undermined his statement “with a bad joke.”
“You have to remember, the side chick was a Food Baby,” Gleeson also said in the sketch.
The Atlantic criticized the sketch for not “offering a deeper take” on the situation. “In an age when so much culture comes from the internet, it would be strange if SNL didn’t take inspiration from discourse online,” The Atlantic’s Amanda Wicks wrote. “But the show doesn’t always nail the balance between dropping references and adding something original.”
Fans of The Try Guys also felt that the sketch didn’t take the situation seriously enough. “Is it just me or is it kinda screwed up that they are making fun of a POWER DYNAMIC of a sexual relationship between a company’s founder and one of its employees??” one person tweeted.
Another person on Twitter criticized SNL for making the situation seem like “just a simple cheating scandal” when there was alleged workplace misconduct involved. “Ned fulmer was her BOSS. this was a power imbalance, and companies like SNL are just twisting the narrative for laughs,” they tweeted.
Others felt SNL could have taken the sketch in a different direction. “There were so many other ways they could have parodied this, but they went for making the victims the punchline while downplaying workplace harassment,” another person tweeted. “That’s pretty tasteless comedy.”
Some fans also didn’t like how the sketch poked fun at The Try Guys’ video that saw them addressing the allegations of workplace misconduct. “The snl sketch is so trash. they completely missed the mark about sexual misconduct in the workplace and tried to make everyone except for ned look bad??” another said. “0 research was done before making it, clearly.”
The Try Guys have yet to respond to the SNL sketch, while SNL has also not publicly commented on the backlash.