Hillary Clinton Wrote ‘SNL’ a Letter Criticizing the Show’s Portrayal of Daughter Chelsea, Says Cast Member Julia Sweeney: ‘That Was Wrong. She Was Right’

Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Julia Sweeney revealed on Dana Carvey and David Spade’s “Fly on the Wall” podcast (via Entertainment Weekly) that Hillary Clinton was so upset over the show’s portrayal of her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, that she personally “wrote a letter” to showrunner Lorne Michaels. Sweeney played a teenage Chelsea in a January 1993 episode, with Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks playing Bill and Hillary, respectively (see photo above).

“People were saying how unattractively I was playing Chelsea, and all I did was not wear makeup and put braces on,” Sweeney said. “If you say that, you’re saying I’m unattractive!”

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Sweeney maintained that she “wasn’t trying to play [Chelsea] unattractive,” but that doesn’t mean targeting someone’s child on national television was a smart idea. Clinton’s letter expressed her disapproval over the sketch, the cast member said. Variety has reached out to Clinton’s representative for comment.

“I just didn’t wear makeup and put on braces,” Sweeney continued. “That was it, and a wig. A long wig… [but] I understood what Hillary was saying, especially now that I’m a parent. It’s like, yeah fuck off. I mean, don’t play kids. That was wrong. She was right, that was wrong.”

It’s not the first time “SNL” had a tense run-in with Clinton. As Entertainment Weekly notes, the show once apologized to Clinton due to a “Wayne’s World” sketch in which Mike Myers and Dana Carvey’s characters suggested that Chelsea Clinton wasn’t as attractive as then-vice president Al Gore’s daughters.

“We felt, upon reflection, that if it was in any way hurtful, it wasn’t worth it,” Lorne Michaels said at the time. “She’s a kid, a kid who didn’t choose to be in public life.”

“Saturday Night Live” will return to NBC once the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are over.

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