Saturday Night Live star Michael Che is under fire for a “transphobic” joke about Caitlyn Jenner delivered during “Weekend Update,” the show’s long-standing faux news segment.
Che was taken to task this week for a joke about Caitlyn Jenner wherein the SNL jokester called Jenner by his original name along with calling Jenner “fella.”
The much-maligned joke came during a bit where Che was slamming rapper Kanye West for “becoming an old white lady” because he is seen wearing sweatpants and orthopedic gym shoes and trying to get black people to like Trump. “How long before this guy changes his name to Kathy?” Che quipped.
But then he added, “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…”
The slap at Jenner brought calls of “transphobia,” and “deadnaming” — the latter being the act of using the birth name that a trans person has left behind.
Thousands of people took to Twitter to slam Che for the Jenner joke.
SNL just made a Caitlyn Jenner joke that was so bad and transphobic that you could hear someone in the audience say “Noooooo”
— Bonnie Stiernberg (@aahrealbonsters) October 27, 2019
Caitlyn Jenner jokes in 2019. Keep crushing it, SNL. Truly innovative stuff from Michael Che.
— lick your local leftist's throbbing wang (@jmartinwrites) October 27, 2019
Michael Che about to try out the transphobic joke he was working on all week pic.twitter.com/IffXdKyMRN
— Will Long✨ (@Willful_long) October 27, 2019
Hi @nbcsnl, please note that deadnaming and intentional misgendering is a form of transphobic violence. I'm so done with transphobic humor on #SNL ==> Michael Che Deadnames Caitlyn Jenner, Calls Her “Fella,” on “SNL” https://t.co/4dxavYDALF via @NewNowNext
— Danielle Solzman (@DanielleSATM) October 28, 2019
It's too bad that the best episode of SNL in recent memory had to be marred by Michael Che's shitty Caitlyn Jenner joke. Come on, man, it's 2019. Be better than this.
— Petra (@ThePetraCorner) October 28, 2019
Just heard about Michael Che deadnaming Caitlyn Jenner last night on SNL. Transphobia is not funny and not acceptable in 2019. Do better, SNL.
— Tricia Cave (@tdcave) October 28, 2019
Trans women are women #SNL, even Caitlyn Jenner.
— Nina Wurz (@NinaWurz) October 27, 2019
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that @nbcsnl needs to be reminded that trans people should not be a punchline. Really really disappointed that the writers relied on such a hateful and lazy joke.
— Elizabeth (@ElizabethAJRM) October 28, 2019
#SNL with a dumb set of Trans jokes culminating in a Caitlynn Jenner joke that had the audience audibly going "Oh no…".
Again: Comedy that punches down ain't funny and never will be.
— Kevin D. Grüssing (Pronounced Grew-Sing) (@KevDGrussing) October 27, 2019
Che did respond to at least one critic. On Monday he struck back at an Instagram critic who said that Che was “afraid” of trans people. In reply, Che said, “how would you know what I’m afraid of,” according to The Wrap.
Che has sparked criticism before. The SNL comedian was hammered for defending Louis C.K. after the admitted sex harassing comedian attempted a comedy comeback. Che was also accused of dismissing catcalling and street harassment of women. And he took guff for calling Boston the most racist city he had ever seen.
Che is not the only SNL comedian accused of “transphobia.” Che’s “Weekend Update” partner, Colin Jost, also came under fire for a “transphobic” joke for saying that Democrats lost the 2016 election because they think there are “37 different gender identity options.”
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