"I'm Meghan's third cousin, Shantay Thomas, of the Compton Thomases."
These are the first lines that comedian Leslie Jones speaks in the recent Saturday Night Live skit, titled "Etiquette Lesson."
The skit has received some backlash from viewers, with many decrying it as playing into racial stereotypes of Black people. As stated in Jones' opening lines, she portrays a fictional cousin of Markle eager to see the baby that the former Suits actress had with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
The skit then showcases Jones receiving etiquette lessons from a woman portrayed by the variety show's weekend guest, Emma Thompson. The sketch shows Thompson's character attempting to teach Jones' character how to stir tea. At one point, Jones' character proclaims she drank tea while she was high. The skit eventually ends with Shantay Thomas getting assaulted by Thompson's character, even taking a bowl of cream to the face.
Safe to say, the skit garnered some criticism on Twitter:
— Bennie Wiley (@BennieWiley) May 12, 2019
O boy, I haven't felt this way about an #SNL skit since #LeslieJones' "Forced Breeding/If I were a slave I could get a date" joke from 2014. Tonight's sketch with Emma Thompson had Jones' writing style all over it. Whoever the hell wrote Etiquette Lesson needs to be fired. (1/11) pic.twitter.com/Pbu2voZsVb
— Max S. Gordon (@maxgordon19) May 12, 2019
Can’t believe the nasty, racist #SNL royal baby sketch with Leslie Jones & Emma Thompson. How did either of them agree to do this? A total misfire. Shame on all involved.
— Randi Neil (@neil_randi) May 12, 2019
I think this is the third time SNL’s gone to the Meghan Markle’s black friends are uncivilized well which feels like maybe too many times
— UntemperedTelevision (@UntemperedTV) May 12, 2019
so @SNL HAD to go there with the Meghan Markle "ghetto relative"..????or did #LeslieJones really think she brought "funny to the foolishness"..??Why not have a skit about Samantha Markle's "entree" into "royal society"..Oiy!!
— E Coco (@scorpionov) May 12, 2019
I dunno. The sketch where Leslie Jones played Meghan Markle’s cousin really rubbed me the wrong way, and maybe that just tainted the whole thing for me.
— Rachel (@peachiesmeechie) May 13, 2019
I absolutely hated the skit with Meghan Markle's cousin being physically assaulted by the royal etiquette coach. I can't believe @Lesdoggg would participate in that minstrel show garbage. What were the writers @nbcsnl thinking? #saturdaynightlive
— Shannon B (@ShannonBForever) May 12, 2019
Judge the skit for yourself below: