Melissa McCarthy’s impersonation of Sean Spicer on the February 4 episode of Saturday Night Live has already garnered over 16 million views on YouTube alone, in addition to the show’s strong ratings — Variety reports that SNL’s audience this season is up 22 percent, or around 2 million more viewers than last year. While McCarthy’s hilarious sketch has drawn rave reviews, the sitting president of the United States, Donald Trump was not amused.
More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him…
"Trump doesn't like his people to look weak," added a top Trump donor.
Trump’s uncharacteristic Twitter silence over the weekend about the “Saturday Night Live” sketch was seen internally as a sign of how uncomfortable it made the White House feel. Sources said the caricature of Spicer by McCarthy struck a nerve and was upsetting to the press secretary and to his allies, who immediately saw how damaging it could be in Trump world.
In light of Trump telling people that “nobody has more respect for women than I do,” it’s fascinating that what reportedly irks him most about the sketch is McCarthy’s gender, which he equates with weakness. How much McCarthy’s impersonation allegedly burned Trump also lends some new perspective to his rattled debate performances against Hillary Clinton (see: his reaction to being called a puppet, or when he called Clinton a “nasty woman”) and his personal attacks on Meryl Streep after her fiery political acceptance speech at the Golden Globes last month. It raises the question of what kind of female behavior, exactly, President Trump approves of.
Trump’s irritation with SNL may only grow in the coming weeks. After word spread about how much McCarthy’s gender-bent Spicer irritated Trump, Twitter instigators sent out a call to Trump’s longtime foe Rosie O’Donnell to play Trump adviser Steve Bannon in an upcoming episode of SNL — a completely feasible scenario. O’Donnell tweeted yesterday that she’s more than game:
Trump, @Rosie, was upset that a staffer was played by a woman, and you do a great impression of him. Willing to take one for the team?— Calvin Enemy Philips (@calvininsf) February 7, 2017
This Saturday, Alec Baldwin, who has been playing Trump in the show’s cold opens over the past few months, will be hosting the entire episode of SNL.