Why Saturday Night Live Once Had To Send An Apology Letter To Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton was 12 years old when her father, Bill Clinton, was elected in 1992 as the 42nd president of the United States. Although she was only a child, Chelsea instantly became a media target. Her parents, Bill and Hillary Clinton, were determined to keep Chelsea out of the spotlight as much as possible, but these efforts sometimes proved futile. In 1992, "Saturday Night Live" featured a "Wayne's World" skit where Wayne and Garth discussed Bill.  They also commented about Chelsea, which resulted in backlash for "SNL" from viewers and Hillary.

According to Gawker, Wayne and Garth compared Chelsea to then-Vice President-elect Al Gore's daughters and implied that she was not as pretty as them. While "SNL" does not usually apologize for their content, the remarks about Chelsea were a different story. Mike Myers, who portrayed Wayne, ended up writing a letter to Chelsea and her parents. However, the specifics of the letter are unknown.

In addition, famed "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels decided that reruns of the episode would not feature the joke about Chelsea. The skit is available on YouTube but, as promised, anything about Chelsea has been deleted. Michaels explained this decision in 1993 by saying (via The Seattle Times), "We felt, upon reflection, that if it was in any way hurtful, it wasn't worth it. She's a kid, a kid who didn't choose to be in public life."

The former first daughter thought Saturday Night Live crossed the line

Shortly after the "Wayne's World" skit about Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton aired, Bill made it clear how he felt about "Saturday Night Live." He told People that he didn't mind when "SNL" mocked him but that his daughter was off-limits. Bill said, "I think you gotta be pretty insensitive to make fun of an adolescent child. I think there is something pretty off-center with people who do that. But I've determined that I can't control their behavior, so I'll just have to control our response to it." Bill added that he and Hilary were raising Chelsea to understand that others' opinions of her were insignificant.

Decades later, Chelsea reflected on this incident in her Apple TV+ Series "Gutsy." The Independent reported that Chelsea revealed that she's not a fan of comedy targeting kids. She said the jokes made about her parents were one thing, "But when 'SNL' made fun of me, I was like, 'Wow, a group of adults sat in a room, all decided this was a good idea, nobody thought maybe we shouldn't make fun of children. I was like, 'Oh, I just don't think that's funny or OK, so I just don't think comedy's funny or OK.'" 

Chelsea's comments echo what she has said about the pressures and criticisms of living in the White House as a teenager.

Chelsea Clinton on being bullied

Chelsea Clinton left the White House in 1997 when she enrolled at Stanford University. Nevertheless, she remained a popular topic in the media and even more so when the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out in the late '90s. Now a mother of three and a successful children's author, she's been up-front about the torment she faced while being the first daughter. In a 2018 interview with The Guardian, she discussed the hate she's received from others.

Chelsea said, "I just think that the way they're talking about me, to me, to my face, online, is a reflection on them and not about me. The savagery that is directed at me, sometimes it's because I'm just the person that they happen to see and recognise, and they're angry, and so that anger kind of spills out." That said, Chelsea uses her books and platform to spread anti-bullying messages. In 2017, fellow first kid Barron Trump briefly united Chelsea with her enemies, the Trump family, for this very reason.

Like Chelsea, the media bullied Barron. Chelsea defended Barron, who was then 11 years old, on Twitter. One tweet read, "Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does to be a kid." Another tweet said, "It's high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves."