With Harry Styles as the headliner, Saturday night’s edition of “Saturday Night Live” was guaranteed to draw a lot of gay viewers, and one sketch in particular probably made it worth the effort.
The former One Direction singer, who served as both host and musical guest on this week’s SNL, appeared in a segment (co-written by Cecily Strong, Bowen Yang, and Julio Torres) that seemed a direct nod to his gay fans, playing a gay, hyper-sexed social media manager called in by his bosses at Sara Lee Bread to discuss his off-brand Instagram posts from the corporate account.
Among the posts called to question by his superiors (portrayed by Strong and Yang) was a caption on a product photo saying, “Feeling really depressed after threesome. What was supposed to be a fantasy ended up more rejection. Must get rid of toxic in community,” a post questioning why “guys freak out when I ask them to spit in my mouth,” a string of emojis referencing “getting railed to death,” and comments on a picture of Nick Jonas reading “Wreck me daddy” and “Destroy me king.”
The sketch also featured a photo of Yang and Styles posing together in harnesses.
SNL fans went on Sara Lee’s Twitter to post their own gay comments, causing #SaraLee to trend.
Sara Lee subsequently deleted the posts, prompting Yang to tweet, “Sara Lee disabling and deleting IG comments wow they really could have been THE bread for f*gs [sad face emoji].”
According to Sara Lee’s parent company, Bimbo Bakeries USA, in a comment to the New York Post, “We didn’t participate in creating the skit and its content doesn’t align with Sara Lee Bread’s brand. But, we all know SNL pushes the envelope for laughs and we are taking it in stride.”
The 25-year-old Styles has a long history of teasing his LGBTQ following, prompting Rolling Stone magazine to note that he “likes to cultivate an aura of sexual ambiguity.” He is known for waving rainbow flags at his concerts with the inscription “Make America Gay Again,” and told a fan at the final show of his 2018 World Tour in Los Angeles, “we’re all a little bit gay.” He has also been vocal in his support for the LGBTQ community, such as telling a French talk show in 2017 that “LGBT equality is fundamental, not political,” and has resisted interviewers who have asked him to put a label on his sexuality.
The October-dropped single and accompanying video for “Lights Up” (from Styles’ newest solo album, “Fine Line,” set to be released December 5) was called by Cosmopolitan, “clearly a bisexual anthem,” and LGBTQ fans have noted the pop singer’s prominent display of bisexual pride colors in social media post of the new album’s cover.