Woody Harrelson responds to backlash over SNL Covid conspiracy speech

Woody Harrelson has addressed the divided response to his much-maligned Saturday Night Live monologue.

The actor was a guest host on the long-running sketch programme in February and kicked off his appearance in an awkward fashion by mentioning a Covid conspiracy theory.

Over a six-minute speech, Harrelson told an anecdote about the “craziest script he’s ever read” that ended with a metaphor concerning people “being forced” to take drugs in order to leave their homes.

The monologue was met with scattered laughter from the studio audience and plenty of criticism on social media for its “anti-vax” themes.

In a new interview with Esquire, published on Monday (1 May), the True Detective star was asked whether he was aware of the heated response his remarks caused online.

“Well, people told me it was, shall we say, trending,” he replied. “No, I don’t look at that s**t. I feel like, ‘I said it on SNL.’ I don’t need to go further with it [pause]…other than to say – well, no, I won’t. Never mind. That’s enough.”

He continued by noting that the perspectives of others don’t affect his day-to-day experiences.

“But it don’t change my life one bit. Not one bit, if the mainstream media wants to have a go at you, right? My life is still wonderful.”

Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux (Mark Seliger / Esquire)
Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux (Mark Seliger / Esquire)

Elsewhere in the joint interview with White House Plumbers co-star Justin Theroux, Harrelson gave some insight into his political leanings and clarified that he doesn’t identify with any specific party.

“There are things that the liberals do that I think, ‘What f***ing idiots.’ And then there’s also conservative ideology that strikes me as odd,” he noted.

“I consider myself, really, an anarchist… Well, I’m probably more of a libertarian. I never see government work. It always seems to be working for the people who got you there. It’s businessmen working for bigger businessmen. It’s not businessmen working for their constituents.”

Harrelson, 61, recently entertained fans with his and Matthew McConaughey’s explanation about them possibly being half-brothers.