The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

“SNL” spoofs ISIS in controversial sketch

"Saturday Night Live" satirized the Islamic State with a fake commercial of a dad, played by Taran Killam, dropping off his daughter, played by Dakota Johnson, to join the militant group, also known as ISIS.

"You could stay home, do another year of high school," the dad says, before her ride arrives, a truck with the Islamic State flag on the side and militants holding firearms.

"You be careful, okay?"

"Dad, it's just ISIS," Johnson says.

One of the militants says "Death to America," and the truck drives off as he and the others fire their weapons into the air.

The clip was criticized as being in poor taste. Last week, three Brooklyn men were arrested and charged with trying to aid ISIS, and last year, U.S. officials detained at least 15 citizens, five of them women, who were trying to travel to Syria to join the group.

Despite the angry tweets and online comments, Killam defended the clip. "Freedom to mock is our greatest weapon," he said in a tweet.

It's a sentiment a majority of Americans would seem to agree with. Following the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January, Pew found six in 10 who knew about the attacks thought it was okay to publish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. The top reason, Pew found, was a belief in freedom of speech.