Chelsea Clinton Went High When Vanessa Bayer Went Low | The Mary Sue
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Chelsea Clinton Shows Us What It Means to Go High When They Go Low


This morning, we were talking about Variety’s Power of Women event, and how someone said something belittling to one of the honorees, with said honoree shooting down the statement with forceful class. Well, sorry for the déjà vu, but here we are again.

Blake Lively wasn’t the only woman at the luncheon to see someone try to reduce her to one aspect of her personhood. In her opening monologue, SNL’s Vanessa Bayer introduced all the women, making an incredibly lame and tasteless joke in the process.

She names the honorees– Blake Lively, Jessica Chastain, Tina Knowles, Shari Redstone, Audra McDonald, Gayle King, and Chelsea Clinton–and says they all have one thing in common. Their gender? Their influence? Their tireless dedication to the deserving causes they’re there to bring attention to?

Nope. Here’s Bayer’s punchline:

That mix of silence and groaning you’re hearing inside your own head? Yeah, that’s the sound that filled the room as that joke sat flat and dead on Bayer’s podium.

She went on to make jokes at Trump’s expense–about him acting like he’s “on his period” no less, a cheap and obvious joke at an event celebrating women–so presumably, this was meant to be a light jab at Clinton (both Clintons), perhaps not as mean-spirited as it came across. But whether it’s too soon, too mean, or just not funny, the joke did not land.

But when it came time for Chelsea Clinton to take the stage and accept her award for her work with Alliance for a Healthier Generation, fighting childhood obesity, she embodied the sentiment Michelle Obama tried to instill in all of us: “When they go low, we go high.”

It’s a shame to see Bayer go so low, but you couldn’t ask for a better retort than Clinton’s closer: “Vanessa, we may be able to say in this room today that no one’s mother is currently president, but some day, someone’s will be.”

Talk about going high. Way to push the worthy message over the cheap joke. You can watch Clinton’s full speech above.

(via US Weekly, image: YouTube)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.