Why Rosie O'Donnell shouldn't play Steve Bannon on 'Saturday Night Live'

Should Rosie O'Donnell play Steve Bannon? Our critic says no.

When Melissa McCarthy began her brilliant impression of White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live last weekend, my first thought -- after, "Oh my God, that's Melissa McCarthy" -- was that the clock was probably ticking on Spicer's West Wing career.

Because it's all very well to be lampooned on late-night TV -- you'd think Spicer's boss could relate -- but to be lampooned by a woman? That, in the Trump White House, might be the ultimate denigration.

Certainly that's what Trump opponents, including his old Twitter arch-nemesis, Rosie O'Donnell, have been thinking.

One writer at the Huffington Post even suggested Trump's entire administration should be played by women.

Which might be hilarious, if a bit of a logistical nightmare, given how busy most of those women already are.

Here's the thing, though: If you cast women to play men just to humiliate those men, you're buying into the idea that there's something inherently wrong with women, and that to be portrayed by one is somehow emasculating.

Which isn't the same as deciding that there's no better person alive than McCarthy to play Spicer (and having seen her do it, I'm willing to back that position).

Leslie Jones, who played Samuel L. Jackson on Saturday's SNL, wasn't, I'm guessing, doing it to humiliate Jackson (even Kate McKinnon's Justin Bieber seems to be more about her impression than about gender). After years of watching Kenan Thompson portray one black woman after another, to the point where he reportedly rebelled and demanded the show hire actual black women, it was cool to see the gender-bending go the other way.

I've little doubt that Rosie's take on Bannon would be fun to watch, but if she did it just to get under his skin?

That's playing a game by boy's rules. And we can do better.

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