Hindus are up in arms over Jim Carrey's portrayal of Lord Ganesh, highly revered in Hinduism, on the January 8 episode of Saturday Night Live that Carrey hosted. The portrayal in question occurred during the recurring Kenan Thompson bit in which he plays Grady Wilson, an infomercial hawker of instructional sex videos. In the skit, Carrey (as long-haired erotic shaman Lee Licious) demonstrates a sexual position called "The Wrath Of Ganesh" during which he flails his arms while making elephant noises, referring to the elephant-headed Ganesh.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said in a statement that Lord Ganesh was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be made sport of on TV shows for mercantile greed. "Such absurd depiction of Lord Ganesh with no scriptural backing was hurtful to the devotees," he said. Zed, who is the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, requested that NBC immediately remove the offending skit from all its websites and other links, which it has so far not done. Zed also sought an apology from Carrey and NBC, urging them not to inappropriately use Hindu deities to advance commercial or other agendas in the future.
Leading Jewish advocate Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer has also joined the fray, releasing a statement requesting that "this skit, The Wrath of Ganesh, should be removed from the NBC website. Jim Carrey, NBC and others responsible for lampooning Lord Ganesh should provide public apologies. We Jews fully support Rajan Zed's protest initiative on this issue and urge others involved in television and film industries to be more considerate to the feelings of devotees of all religions in the future." I don't think that if Carrey had acted out a ridiculous sexual technique in the guise of Zeus or Poseidon that Greeks would have been calling for heads to roll. But Hinduism is the world's third largest religion after Christianity and Islam, with almost one billion adherents. So it will be interesting going forward to see if SNL trifles with any more sacred cows, or if the suits take this one to heart.