Saoirse Ronan Defends Her ‘SNL’ Aer Lingus Sketch After It Causes A Controversy In Ireland

Near the end of Saoirse Ronan’s appearance on SNL to kick off December, the actress got a chance to poke some fun at Ireland and Aer Lingus. It seemed like a fun sketch to tack on at the end of the show, right before the goodbyes, but not everybody was a fan. While Aer Lingus tweeted about it and channeled Donald Trump for their tongue-in-cheek reply, folks in Ireland were a bit more sensitive:

According to The Daily Mail, most responses at the time criticized the sketch for stereotyping, painting Ireland as “backward,” and even called it a “hate crime.” You have to hope some of the responses were intentionally absurd, but it seems it reached the point where Ronan was asked about it during an appearance with Ryan Tubridy on Irish television’s Late Late Show.

Ronan tries to explain how she urged Lorne Michaels to include an Irish sketch on the show and how she wanted to keep her accent, both things he approved. She also addressed the sketch directly:

“I’m not anti-Aer Lingus! I collect my points on Aer Lingus, that’s how often I fly Aer Lingue. I shop local and eat Tayto! It was so much fun and it was great to represent Ireland and great to have U2 on the show with me.”

Ronan did have a fair share of defenders after the interview and even after the sketch aired. It certainly pales in comparison to the other SNL controversies we’ve seen in the past, so maybe it’s just Ireland being super sensitive.