“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” had a pretty big question on its on mind on Sunday: How is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue “still a thing?”
The HBO late-night comedy series took on the “preferred magazine of dads in the crapper since 1954” for boosting sales in February by dedicating an issue to super models in bikinis, and mocked the “creepy chorus of approval” from men in the media — including a married CNBC personality, who dropped to his knee to ask 2013 cover girl Kate Upton to be his valentine.
“Courtney, I love you baby,” Darrren Rovell, now an ESPN reporter, said after Upton rejected him.
Looking past the overwhelming sexism of the 1960s, when the issue was first introduced, the segment sought to understand why it’s still the top-selling issue of the year, since people can simply “type ‘naked ladies’ into the internet and see what Google throws at them.”
This year’s cover featured Hannah Davis in a risqué pose that some deemed “too lewd,” since her bikini bottom was pulled low enough to expose her pelvis.
“When the line goes this far, what’s left?” a critic asked.
“The vagina is what’s left. And one of these years, in an act of desperation, SI will probably put one on the cover,” the segment narrator said. “And until that time, it’s up left to the rest of us to ask ourselves, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: How is this still a thing?”