Last night's "Saturday Night Live" host Chance the Rapper — who hails from Chicago — used his platform to make an overt political statement, wearing a Chicago Teachers Union sweatshirt on screen and expressing his support for the teachers' strike. Several SNL cast members joined him in wearing CTU sweatshirts during the farewell.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chance — whose real name is Chancelor Jonathan Bennett — is a graduate of Jones College Prep in Chicago. During his opening monologue, he expressed strong support for the striking teachers, who have caused over a week's worth of missed classes as well as numerous other cancelled events, including prep sports.
Chance — who was hosting SNL for the second time — began his opening monologue by joking, "If you don't remember, last time I was here, I gave one million dollars to Chicago Public Schools, and I'm happy to say, it completely fixed everything."
He continued, "No, honestly, to the teachers in Chicago, I know you guys are on strike right now, I fully support you... I just wish that when I was in school, my teachers had gone on a strike."
During the curtain call that ended the show, several cast members including Cecily Strong, Alex Moffat, and Chris Redd also wore CTU sweatshirts, presumably in support of the striking teachers.
Meanwhile, as of Saturday night, the two sides announced that they are still "millions of dollars apart" in negotiations, making it unlikely that classes will resume on Monday. Chicago Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services told local media at the end of yesterday's bargaining session that, "We spent the last 14 hours bargaining today, and we are not close to where we need to be on the big issues. We are going to return tomorrow and work diligently to try to close the divide."