Thursday, February 22, 2024

Michael Che Makes An Anti-Semitic Joke on “Saturday Night Live” That’s Already Getting Social Media Criticism


SUNDAY 10:30AM UPDATE Just as I expected, there’s been an avalanche of criticism on social media overnight. But there have also been plenty of Tweets supporting Che by people who are either anti-Semitic or clueless. Che didn’t say, “the Israeli half.” He said “the Jewish half.” There’s a difference, even if he’s unaware of it. His joke was directed at a religion, not a state or government. That he didn’t understand that distinction is where the problem lies. And will perpetuate more anti-Semitism. I’m usually a fan of Che. But he’s made a big error that must be rectified.

SUNDAY 12:38AM Comedian Michael Che is already getting blasted midway through “Saturday Night Live” for an anti-Semitic joke.

During “Weekend Update,” Che joked that half the people in Israel had already been vaccinated and “I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.”

Lorne Michaels, who is Jewish, cannot be happy. (He might not be happy about some other references to his personal wealth during the segment.)

Che is getting a ton of criticism and anger on Twitter right now. But even worse– the anti-Semites are coming out, applauding the line. What a stupid thing he did. I think this will not be the end of it.

One Tweeter said: Michael Che perpetrated an anti- Semitic anti- Israel trope with his vaccine joke. Just as a fact check – Israel vaccinated 1/2 of its population of Israeli citizens – Arab, Jewish and Christian. Shame on you.

Another: WTF, SNL. Your no-reason quip about Israel only vaccinating Jews is not only a lie, but it perpetuates anti-semitism. Cheap shot that does more damage than the momentary, paltry laugh you got for that sorry excuse of a joke.

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Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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