SNL’s Scathing ‘Welcome to Hell’ Skit Tells Men What Women Have Known All Along

Share on Facebook

In October of 2017, reports emerged that Hollywood super-producer Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted as many as 57 women. In the weeks that followed, the reports became more and more horrifying: Weinstein had engaged in a brutal campaign of crushing the reputations and careers of his potential accusers, had gaslighted them, and used actual spies to stalk them. As the reports about Weinstein steamrolled, more accusers came forward… this time against other notable men from other industries.

James Toback. Matt Lauer. Kevin Spacey. Russell Simmons. The list became longer and longer every day, with stomach-churning revelations the routine par for the course for each accusation: Matt Lauer had installed a button he used to close colleagues in. Russell Simmons raped 17-year-olds while Brett Ratner watched. James Toback had assaulted around 300 women.

The influx of horrific stories brought the #MeToo movement to the forefront, and had many guys wondering – “How did I not know about this?”

Or rather, women knew, and tried to tell men, but they consistently refused to listen or believe women. In the wake of the Weinstein revelations, however, many articles and opinion pieces have popped up with headlines asking people to do exactly that… not that it’s worked. The problem with #believewomen is that people might say they want to, but when it comes down to it, they have problems doing so.

Of course, the moment an actress of color, Aurora Perrineau, accused one of Dunham’s own writers of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager, Dunham backtracked and released a statement that cast doubt on the actress’ claims, leading to the now infamous “hipster racist” quote by author and former Lenny writer Zinzi Clemmons.

Believing women is one of those rallying cry call to actions that sounds very good on paper and when you’re waving your stock “I’m a feminist” card around, but it tends to not work so well in practice. See all those people voting for accused pedophile Roy Moore.

When Tambor’s assistant Van Barnes accused the Transparent actor of sexual harassment, he swiftly released a statement saying:
I have never been a predator — ever. I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.

The living burn of a skit featured the women of SNL and guest of the night, Saoirse Ronan, and proudly declared “Welcome To Hell,” a tongue-in-cheek wink at men who had no idea that the world was a crappy, crappy place for women.

Dressed in Pepto Bismal pink, actress Cecily Strong crooned, “Hey there, boys, we know the last couple months have been insane.”
Aidy Bryant quickly added “All of these big, cool, powerful guys are turning out to be, what’s the word, habitual predators… And it’s like, dang, is this the world now?”

“This been the damn world,” Strong said. Which, of course it had. The skit continuously flashes over to moments in history when women tried to gain rights for themselves and were shut down. The Salem Witch Trials, the Suffragette Movement, the 1960’s… all periods in time when women tried to make the world less crappy for themselves and failed because men.

“Now ‘House of Cards’ is ruined, and that really sucks. Well here’s a list of stuff that’s ruined for us,” she begins. The actresses then tick off a list of things that haven’t been historically good for women.  

“Vans!” the actresses croon. “Nothing good ever happens in a van.” Indeed not. If there’s one things serial killer movies and commonsense have taught us, it’s that vans – particularly white vans – are not a good place for women… or children… well, pretty much anyone.

What woman hasn’t at one point walked to her doorway with her keys gripped between her knuckles for safety? It’s practically Woman 101, and yet most men wouldn’t recognize or understand the gesture, even though they’ve been told again, again, and again. So while “Welcome to Hell” has been hailed as the new anthem for women everywhere, let’s hope it reaches the people who actually need to watch it – men. And let’s hope that when they watch it, they take yet another small step towards understanding what it means to be a woman living in a man’s world – or, by any other word – hell. Welcome.