Saturday Night Live and Michael Che slammed for ‘tired, offensive’ prison rape joke. Last week, it was transphobia

Michael Che

Even in the wonderfully queer episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL) hosted by actor Dan Levy, Michael Che was still reliant on homophobic tropes for his “humour”.

Schitt’s Creek star Levy hosted the long-running sketch show on Saturday night (6 February), and was joined by iconic queer musical guest Phoebe Bridgers.

Somehow completely unable to read the room, during the “Weekend Update” segment of the show, Che still went ahead with a joke about prison rape.

Describing a story in which a Wisconsin man robbed a bank because he wanted to “try something new”, Che said: “I like that attitude, said his cellmate.”

Viewers were sick and tired of Che’s repeated anti-LGBT+ jokes, and took to Twitter to express their frustration.

One wrote: “Been watching SNL for 30 years but I’m done – can’t take another week of Michael Che’s prison rape jokes.”

Another said: “So Michael Che made a transphobic joke last week and then made a prison rape joke this week while an openly gay man was hosting? I only watched for Dan, but like, ew.”

Michael Che made the prison rape ‘joke’ just one week after he was accused of transphobia.

Michael Che faced accusations of transphobia after last week’s SNL “Weekend Update”.

On the 30 January episode, Che addressed president Joe Biden’s recent executive order overturning the ban against trans troops serving in the US military.

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

“It’s good news, except Biden is calling the policy: ‘Don’t ask, don’t tuck’, which is not good news.”

Lee Clatworthy, acting chair for trans charity Sparkle, said SNL has a “history of punching down at LGBT+ people”, but he found it “astounding in 2021 that a senior writer and his colleagues still think it’s necessary to broadcast a joke in which trans women are the butt”.