During a rambling joke about Kanye West turning into an “old white lady” on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, Michael Che deadnamed Caitlyn Jenner and called her a “fella.” Trans people and allies have responded with outrage on Twitter with some demanding Che be fired. Meanwhile, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chase Strangio called the SNL bit “dangerous” for trans people.
Remarking on West’s new album Jesus Is King and his decision to swap out some of old lyrics to make them less profane and more G-rated, Che said, “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.”
“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 quipped.
But he didn’t stop there. Che dragged West’s wife Kim Kardashian’s former stepparent Jenner, who came out as trans in 2015, into the “joke.”
“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 … ” Che said feigning misgendering and deadnaming Jenner. Then he looked sheepishly at Weekend Update cohost Colin Jost who was laughing with his head in his hands.
Here is the problematic segment.
In September, SNL hired comedian Shane Gillis, who has a history of racist and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in the name of comedy. Gillis was eventually fired from the show after massive outrage erupted on social media.
Strangio wasn’t the only one to condemn the Weekend Update segment. Several Twitter users called it out as transphobic.