Hart’s routine dealt mostly with the pressures and joys of family life, including the anxieties of fatherhood. (His wife just gave birth to Hart’s third child.) It started out benign enough — that is, until Hart tried to applaud women’s roles in family by reinforcing dated gender roles and patriarchal expressions of what men and women are “supposed” to be.
“I take my hat off [to women]. Because when it comes to putting structure in a child’s life — bathing, feeding, taking a kid to school, from school, you guys do that,” he said, apparently unaware that a great many men do those things and that confining women to those roles implies women don’t earn paychecks in jobs outside the home. “The one thing that you’re not,” he went on, “is fun. “You never heard a kid say, ‘I can’t wait to get home and play with my mom.” Whew.
Not surprisingly, many viewers took umbrage, calling the routine sexist. And in light of the fact that Hart just days prior finally admitted to cheating on his wife while she was pregnant — a circumstance that’s certainly private and personal to the family, but complicates the wholesome material — the routine adds one more problematic routine to SNL‘s ever-growing pile of tone-deaf performances.
Larry David’s most recent turn, in which he joked about picking up women at a concentration camp while the entire entertainment industry was experiencing tremors from the Harvey Weinstein bombshell, raised more than a few eyebrows. That came on the heels of Louis C.K.‘s appearance in April 2017, mere months before the comic — who’d joked about child molestation on the show in his 2015 appearance — finally copped to the longstanding rumor that he’d been forcing female colleagues to watch him masturbate, an “open secret” among many in Hollywood. And it’s a distant memory now, but way back in 2015, protesters camped out in front of SNL to try and prevent the show from having then-candidate Donald Trump on as a guest, outraged over his comments about Mexicans.
Hart’s routine proves that SNL either isn’t having conversations about what’s too risqué and too touchy in today’s environment or just doesn’t care.