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SNL Skit Bombs With Hawaiian Tourism Industry

March 12, 2009 By: Meagan Drillinger

A recent skit on “Saturday Night Live” didn’t have the intended effect on Hawaii’s lieutenant governor and some in the U.S. state’s tourism industry, reports the Associated Press.

The skit, featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and SNL comedian Fred Armisen, was an exaggerated portrayal of how frustrating it is for locals to deal with tourists. Johnson and Armisen paraded around tables of tourists, dressed in grass-skirts, making sarcastic comments about how much they enjoy their profession.

According to Hawaii Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, the skit, “went too far in its negative depiction of Hawaii’s native people and tourism industry.” He’s worried that the skit might hurt the state’s biggest industry and plans to send a letter in protest to Lorne Michaels, the NBC program’s executive producer.

But others in the islands found the skit amusing. “I thought it was extremely funny.” Augie Tulba, a local comedian under the name Augie T, says. “We think that way but we won’t come out and say it,” he adds.

But still, the worry amongst some officials is that because the state is taking a serious hit with the economic decline of the U.S. and Asia, the islands need all the good publicity they can get.

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