Michael Che, the Saturday Night Live writer and comedian, decided to deal with criticism over his Simone Biles jokes by deleting all but one post on social media.
And that post was telling in a mocking, profane kind of way. On Monday, Michael Che wrote:
“Damn, I always forget to do this. But next time I get a ton of bad press I’m gonna post pictures of me with people I don’t really f–k with no more, and write “always has my back.”
Let’s fill you in on the controversy. Michael Che does SNL’s Weekend Update with Colin Jost. He’s also the co-head writer of the long-running comedy skit show. But with the series on summer hiatus, Che also is doing standup and working on his show for HBO Max.
Last Thursday, he brought up Simone Biles, the multiple gold medal winning American gymnast who took herself out of some Olympic events because of mental health issues. Biles announced earlier Monday that she’ll compete in the balance beam, the last gymnastic event at the Olympics. She missed the team finals, all-around and three apparatus championships.
Michael Che Opened Up His Instagram for Simone Biles Jokes
Michael Che said he wanted to make jokes about Biles. He wrote: “I got like 3 mins of simone biles jokes in my head. im going to the cellar tonight to say them into a microphone. as the dorky kids say, im choosing violence.”
Then, Che opened up his account and allowed his followers to submit jokes via private messages. Che shared some of them so he could rate the jokes. Biles is one of the most beloved athletes in the country. And she’s spoken publicly about the sexual abuse she and other elite gymnasts experienced from former national team doctor Larry Nassar.
Nassar is in prison, serving a sentence of between 40 and 175 years. He was accused of assaulting as many as 150 young women and girls.
One of the jokes Michael Che shared regarded Biles and Nassar. Although he didn’t write the joke, he passed it along and rated it a nine. He added “Godd-mn, thats rough. Absolutely tasteless.”
Another joke he shared: “Who said black don’t crack?” Michael Che gave that one an eight, adding: “Now thats a good joke. economical. referential. balanced.”
The public backlash was both immediate and overwhelmingly negative towards Che’s jokes.
Journalist Jessica Luther, who has devoted much of her career writing about athletes and sexual assault, said Che’s comment “makes me want to vomit.” Others weren’t as nice.
Che wasn’t the only well-known person to criticize Biles. She was targeted by a political official in her home state of Texas. She wrote: “physical health is mental health.”
“For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit,” she said. “My mind and body are simply not in sync.”
Meanwhile, Michael Che made another joke about the controversy he created. He wrote: “I got hacked today. Can’t believe they got me. yall know I only do jokes about whites and cops.”
Then Monday, he deleted all but one post.