SNL and Michael Che face accusations of transphobia over Weekend Update joke: ‘So incredibly gross’

Joke referenced President Biden’s executive order repealing ban on transgender Americans serving in military 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Monday 01 February 2021 07:35
SNL's Michael Che accused of transphobia after Weekend Update joke

Saturday Night Live and Michael Che are facing criticism from viewers after the Weekend Update host was accused of making a transphobic joke.

On Saturday’s episode, Che, who hosts the segment alongside Colin Jost, addressed President Joe Biden’s recent executive order overturning Donald Trump’s ban against transgender Americans serving in the US military.

During the segment, Che said: “President Biden signed an executive order repealing Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.

After pausing for cheers from the audience, Che continued: “Yeah, it’s good news, except Biden is calling the policy ‘don’t ask, don’t tuck,’ which is not good news.”

The joke was met with backlash on social media, where it has been labelled “transphobic,” with many questioning why the line was approved by the show’s writers.

“What is Saturday Night Live's weird obsession with transphobic nonsense? I honestly don't get it. It's so lazy and sad. Last night, Michael Che joked about the repeal of the trans ban being called ‘don't ask, don't tuck’ -- who is this ‘joke’ for?” writer Charlotte Clymer tweeted.

Another person said: “How does SNL think it’s acceptable that Michael Che is blatantly transphobic on live TV?!”

“This isn’t funny and so many people had to let this joke get to air y’all are dumb,” someone else wrote.

Others pointed out that this is not the first time Che has been accused of transphobia following jokes made during the segment.

In October 2019, the SNL host faced similar backlash after he told a Weekend Update joke at the expense of Caitlyn Jenner, during which he also deadnamed and misgendered the gold medal-winning Olympian.

“Why does #MichaelChe keep getting to make these transphobic jokes seemingly unchecked? Why?” another person asked.

The Independent has contacted NBC for comment.

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