Reese Witherspoon hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, appearing in (among others) a sketch that addressed the controversy of depicting the Prophet Muhammad, which bought to mind the Garland, Texas shooting outside a “Draw Muhammad” event earlier this month. But the segment also recalled a similar one that Canadian news satire show This Hour Has 22 Minutes aired in January, just after the Charlie Hebdo shooting occurred. Now, two writers from This Hour Has 22 Minutes are accusing SNL of stealing the bit.
Mainstream Islamic tradition considers any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad to be blasphemous. So when a character played by SNL‘s Bobby Moynihan must draw the Prophet Muhammad in order to win $1 million on Picture Perfect, a game show similar to Win Lose or Draw, he freezes and passes the job to celebrity teammate Reginald VelJohnson, played by Kenan Thompson. Witherspoon, Moynihan’s wife in the sketch, urges them both to draw whatever they can in order to win the grand prize.
22 Minutes‘ version features a man on Win Lose or Draw tasked with illustrating Muhammad in the show’s “super duper bonus round” to win $1 million. His wife encourages to him to go ahead with the drawing despite his reservations, but once he declares he can’t, she makes the correct guess, and the couple walk away victorious.
NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Take a look at the two sketches and compare for yourself:
[via Vanity Fair]