Late Night with Seth Meyers delivered a topical parody of the ’80s pop song, “Somebody’s Watching Me” and the artist behind it, Rockwell, with Amber Ruffin dressing up as Rockwell and performing “White Women Watching Me”.
The Tuesday night sketch was tied to two recent viral news stories of white women calling the police in response to black people engaging in seemingly harmless acts or, as Meyers put it, people who were “just going about their business.”
Parodying Rockwell’s 1984 hit, complete with frightened glances, Ruffin sang, “All I want is to be left alone, then I see one on the phone, then it makes me feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. I always feel like white women watching me, and I’ve got no privacy.”
On Saturday, a video was posted to Twitter in which a white woman confronted an 8-year-old black girl selling water near AT&T Park in San Francisco and threatened to call the police. The money being raised from sales was for a trip to Disneyland.
The caller in the video, Alison Ettel, has since been dubbed “Permit Patty.” The 15-second video of her calling the police went viral on social media and has received more than 9 million views.
“When I’m selling water for a trip to Disneyland, Patty says I need a permit unlike a white kid’s lemonade stand,” Ruffin’s Rockwell sang.
A separate incident occurred in April when Jennifer Schulte, known as “BBQ Becky” on social media, called the police to report a group of black Americans barbecuing in a public park in Oakland.
A video of the incident was uploaded on April 29 and has since been viewed more than 2.5 million times.
Dressed as Schulte and Ettel, Late Night writers Jenny Hagel and Ally Hord joined Ruffin on stage donning keytars and sunglasses for the smoke-filled performance.
“People say I’m crazy, a little touched in the brain,” Ruffin’s Rockwell cried. “But if you ask me it’s these white women who are insane.”
Watch the original Rockwell clip below.