Michael Che has responded to online critics following their negative reaction to a recent “Saturday Night Live” sketch.
The episode, which aired on May 8, was already attracting controversy for having Tesla CEO Elon Musk as host, due to his divisive statements on subjects like COVID-19. Some “SNL” cast members even hinted that they might not be happy about the decision.
The “Gen Z Hospital” skit featured Musk alongside cast members Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, Melissa Villaseñor, and Mikey Day. Its premise mocked young people for using slang like “pressed,” “no cap,” “go off, king,” and “sis,” but as some social media users pointed out, the phrases are linked to African American Vernacular English (AAVE).
“I reactivated my Twitter just to say ‘Gen Z Hospital’ is the worst SNL skit of all time and the single worst piece of television I have ever seen,” one viewer wrote on Twitter after it aired. “Love the relabelling of AAVE and a few assorted BLACK LGBTQ+ phrases as ‘Gen z’ speak,” another Twitter user commented. “Love to see the erasure in real time.”
Michael Che admitted that the sketch 'bombed'
Michael Che, who is a full-time writer on the late-night sketch show, decided to respond to criticism over the “Gen Z Hospital” sketch on his Instagram, per E! News.
“I’ve been reading about how my ‘gen z’ sketch was misappropriating AAVE,” he wrote, referring to accusations of cultural appropriation. Che, who is Black, then admitted that he hadn’t known what the term meant. “I had to look it up,” the comedian shared. “Turns out it’s an acronym for ‘African American Vernacular English.’ You know, AAVE! That ol’ saying that actual Black people use in conversation all the time…”
Che then took responsibility for the sketch being unpopular with fans. “Look, the sketch bombed,” the “Weekend Update” co-host continued. “I’m used to that. I meant no offense to the ‘AAVE’ community. I love AAVE.” He then paid tribute to host Elon Musk by seemingly using a cryptocurrency reference (per Metro), joking, “AAVE to the moon.”
Che then let his followers know he wasn’t taking the criticism too seriously, captioning his post, “if i could stop one person from calling everybody bro and bestie, im happy with that.”
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