Daniel Kaluuya knows most Americans have only heard him speak with an American (or Wakandan) accent. He’s British, of course, as those who’ve seen him in one of Black Mirror‘s freakiest episodes well know. So when he delivered the monologue during his first-ever SNL hosting gig (alongside musical guest St. Vincent), he had some fun with the potential misconception — and with the alleged racism of the British royal family.
“I know you’re hearing my accent and thinking, ‘Oh no. He’s not Black. He’s British.’ I’m here to reassure you that I’m Black, and I’m British,” Kaluuya said. He then slipped in a reference to Meghan Markle’s barnburning interview with Oprah a few weeks back: “I’m what the royal family was worried the baby would look like.”
In the interview, the Duchess of Essex alleged that there were “concerns” among some in the royal family over their first son’s skin color, she being biracial. Her comments set off a firestorm, particularly in the United Kingdom, with some — most notably Piers Morgan — getting so huffed up he left his morning show hosting gig. (And led to a similar thing happening to friend Sharon Osbourne.)
Kaluuya’s monologue also saw him discussing Judas and the Black Messiah, the docudrama in which he plays murdered Black Panther Fred Hampton. He said he’s been inundated with questions about which place is more racist: American or Great Britain?
“Let me put it this way. British racism is so bad, white people left,” Kaluuya cracked. “They wanted to be free — free to create their own kinds of racisms. That’s why they invented Australia, South Africa and Boston.”
He also addressed his Zoom appearance at the Golden Globes, where he won for Best Actor in a Drama but whose speech was initially and mysteriously silent. But there was a simple explanation for it. “I was muted. Can you believe that?” he explained. “I told the best joke of my life and I was muted. I felt like I was in a sunken place.”
You can watch Kaluuya’s full monologue in the video above.