Shortly after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where tiki torch-carrying white nationalists protested the removal of Confederate statues (and it only got worse from there), Tina Fey dropped by SNL‘s “Weekend Update” to sheet cake against hate. The bit, in which the 30 Rock creator implored people to “don’t yell it at the Klan, yell it at the cake,” did not go over well. Fey agrees with the criticisms: in an interview with David Letterman on his Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, she apologized for bringing delicious cake into the unsavory mess that is the United States.
“You try your best, you try to have your eyes open, you try to be mindful, but it’s also a fast-moving train,” Fey explained about the SNL writing process. “I felt like a gymnast who did a very solid routine and broke her ankle on the landing. Because I think it’s in the last 2-3 sentences of the piece, I think, that I chumped it. And I screwed up and the implication was that I was telling people to give up and not be active and not fight. That was not my intention, obviously.”
If Fey, who attended the University of Virginia (which is why she was asked to write the sketch), could go back in time, she would have ended the segment by saying, “Fight them in every way except the way that they want.” For what it’s worth, Letterman thought her sheet cake appearance is “perfect” as is.