Michael Che Receives Backlash Over ‘Transphobic’ and ‘Ageist’ Comments

Alana John, Staff Writer

SNL co-head writer and Weekend Update co-host Michael Che is under backlash following his back-to-back jokes about transphobia and ageism. 

During the October 29th show, Che said about rapper Kanye West, “I mean, he used to be one of the coolest black dudes on Earth. Now he’s showing up to events in sweatpants and orthopedic sneakers, listening to Kenny G and trying to get black people to like Trump. It’s like, how long before this guy changes his name to Kathy?” 

Che then changed his focus to Caitlyn Jenner, and said,  “Now, you might think that I’m crazy, but about five years ago, there was a fella named Bruce Jenner, and he moved to Calabasas… ”

Che deadnamed, or called a trans individual by their former name, Caitlyn Jenner on the Weekend Update segment. Che received backlash from viewers who demanded that he be fired just as his ex-castmate Shane Gillis was in early September.

Ward Melville sophomore Phoebe Brenner said, “I feel that Che disrespected Jenner. As a joke, it is not appropriate to make a reference to a time when she was not comfortable with herself and wasn’t her true self.”

A week later, when Kristen Stewart hosted alongside musical guest Coldplay, Che said that a 67-year-old woman who recently gave birth “set a record for most friction” before making other jokes such as, “Well I hope that kid likes his milk chalky!”, “She can breastfeed just by standing over the crib,” and “Doctors described the birth as pulling a penny out of a wad of gum.” 

Some people, like sophomore Owen Gavigan, disagreed that Che went too far. “The only way that we can be unified is if we can make fun of each other and not get offended,” Gavigan said.

 Despite the backlash, Che continues to work at SNL.