During the “Weekend Update” segment, Che, 36, explained in a joke that Kanye West was planning to make his lyrics more “G-rated,” something the comedian wasn’t thrilled about.
“At first I thought Kanye was losing his mind, and now I feel like he’s fine, he’s just turning into an old white lady,” the sketch comedy writer said. “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 brought up Kim Kardashian‘s stepfather, who publicly came out as transgender in 2015.
“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 … ” he said without finishing the sentence. His “Weekend Update” cohost, Jost, put his head down on the desk while laughing.
After the joke, many viewers reacted on Twitter – and they were not happy.
“The thing that gets me about this transphobic SNL joke is that Michael Che clearly thinks this joke is the Height of Comedy since he cannot contain the giggle storm forming on his face,” one fan wrote. Another added, “Caitlyn Jenner jokes in 2019. Keep crushing it, SNL. Truly innovative stuff from Michael Che.”
Comedian Avery Edison also pointed out the misusage of pronouns. “What gets me is that this disgusting, blatantly transphobic joke is both completely unfunny AND delivered incredibly poorly. there’s just no point to it. why this target? why the deadnaming? why the incorrect pronouns? WHY THE JOKE AT ALL?” she wrote. “The cruelty is the point. There are great writers and performers at SNL, and they don’t mean s–t if the lorne michaels bottleneck keeps letting a–holes like che spout crap like this and get chuckles from jost.”
Us Weekly has reached out to NBC for comment.
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET.