“Saturday Night Live” head writer and comedian Michael Che wiped his Instagram account of all posts Thursday night after receiving backlash for posting jokes about Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.
Biles, a four-time gold medalist, was expected to be a frontrunner in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, but she withdrew from the gymnastics team finals and all-around individual finals due to concerns about her mental well-being. Her decision has sparked an outpouring of support from athletes and Hollywood for being vocal about her mental health and prioritizing it.
On Thursday, Che posted to his since-deleted Instagram story “man, i wanna make fun of simone biles,” followed by “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.”
Che then shared two jokes from Instagram users to his story and rated the jokes out of 10, seen below in screenshot captured by a Twitter account. “Larry Nassar understands Simone Biles better than anyone. He too had to quit doing what he loved at the pinnacle of his career because of mounting pressure,” wrote one follower. To which Che wrote, “goddamn, thats rough. absolutely tasteless. 9/10.”
— BallerAlert (@balleralert) July 30, 2021
Another Instagram user wrote to Che, “Who said black don’t crack?,” and Che responded with “now thats a good joke. economical. referential. balanced. good job. 8/10.”
He later claimed on his Instagram story that his account was hacked.
“maaannnn, i got hacked today. cant believe they got me. yall kno i only do jokes about whites and cops. s’all good now, i changed my password and everything..anyway, ya’ll hear about dababy tho..? thats crazy..iight. see yall at church. imma get there early,” he wrote, referencing the homophobic comments that rapper DaBaby made at the Rolling Loud music festival last week.
Che is known for his controversial jokes on social media and as co-anchor of Weekend Update on “SNL” alongside Colin Jost. He’s used his Instagram account several times in the past to respond to critics, and the Biles jokes are the latest to spur backlash from fans and people in Hollywood.
Michael Che is trash. https://t.co/q4XQmcX4AV
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) July 30, 2021
Yes @nbcsnl @nbc is on hiatus, but doesn’t Michael Che have an @HBO deal too? It’d be a great time to act on all the big talk of listening to Black women, and drop that talent-free wastrel who constantly maligns us. We have receipts for years but this latest stunt is inexcusable.
— @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) July 30, 2021
Not Michael Che using the same IG font as his “hacker” 💀💀🤧🤧 pic.twitter.com/k1LSySumd5
— MeganTheeStallion’sPatella (@KirkWrites79) July 30, 2021
A rep for Che did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.