This SNL Perfume Commercial Parody Is a Damning Critique of Ivanka Trump

Mar 12, 2017 at 11:17 a.m. ET
Image: Kylie Billings/NBC

Saturday Night Live continued to ride its wave of newfound popularity through political commentary this weekend, this time having guest Scarlett Johansson contribute her scathing impression of Ivanka Trump. The award-winning actress appeared in a two-minute parody commercial for a fragrance called "Complicit."

The commercial shows Ivanka walking into a cocktail party in a sparkling slinky dress. As she turns to the camera, her facial expression hilariously reflects her father's as a voiceover begins to hawk the perfume: "Because she's beautiful. She's powerful. She's Complicit."

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The prefilmed bit is a step away from what SNL has been engaging in since Donald Trump entered the political sphere — before, writers and producers seemed content to focus on Trump himself and his administration. But this harsh critique showed that the long-running sketch comedy show isn't about to forgive people close to Trump who don't speak up or who stand to profit under his presidency.

The commercial's voiceover continues: "She knows what she wants and knows what she's doing. A feminist. An advocate. A champion for women. But, like, how?"

Just when you think that the commercial couldn't get much more scathing, it adds: "She's loyal. Devoted. But probably should have bounced after that Access Hollywood bus thing."

It finishes: "The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this but won't."

In just a few sentences, the sketch sums up why many are uncomfortable with Ivanka, who is one of the more liberal members of the Trump family and who has spoken up for a number of left-leaning causes, such as child care and equal rights for women. At the same time, she has remained silent on a number of controversial issues — and many believe that she is trying to profit from her father's position of power.


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Also on last night's SNL, Alec Baldwin also reprised his now-iconic impression of Donald Trump during the show's cold open. In this sketch, aliens from the planet Zorbatt 9 land on Planet Earth and start a terrible interstellar war, and Trump makes what is supposed to be an inspiring speech. Instead, he goes off on stereotypical Trump tangents, asking, "Who loves Trump?" and saying, "We don't win anymore, and the aliens are laughing at us." He also mentions his ongoing fixation with the popular vote and that "We're going to bring coal back."

In the same sketch, Trump claims to be getting his information from InfoWars, a heavily right-leaning news source famous for spreading fake news. The information he shares? "Aliens" are among us, here illegally, and posing as humans. When the aliens finally arrive, Trump denies that he's the president, and the alien leader declares, "This is going to be so easy!"


What at first seems like a generally goofy cold open has at its heart something far more serious. While Trump is supremely distracted by his pet problems (like illegal immigration and refugees), more pressing matters are being ignored that could lead to serious problems later; that is, as aliens are attacking, Trump can't seem to focus on anything but the petty. Even when a member of the military announces that everyone in California has died, Trump asks, "Even Arnold?"

Both sketches represent comedy and political commentary at its best: They bring a laugh while sending a clear message to viewers about exactly what is wrong with Ivanka and Donald Trump's actions. At the same time, they are also sending a clear message to the individuals they are roasting: If you act ridiculous, we will make you look even more ridiculous on our show.

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Do you think that Scarlett Johansson's impression of Ivanka Trump was too harsh? Share your opinion in the comments.

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