During the “Weekend Update” segment this past Saturday, Che was joking about Kanye West’s newly religious public persona when things took an unexpected turn.
“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,” Che said, referencing West’s plans to edit his old songs “with more G-rated lyrics.”
Che continued: “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 then segued into a joke about Jenner, who came out as transgender in 2015 and used to be married to West’s mother-in-law.
“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 … ” the SNL comedian said before trailing off.
Many people weren’t happy, not with the misgendering of Jenner, not with the casual use of her dead name and not with the implication that being transgender is inherently amusing.
Michael Che about to try out the transphobic joke he was working on all week pic.twitter.com/IffXdKyMRN— Will Long✨ (@Willful_long) October 27, 2019
Caitlyn Jenner jokes in 2019. Keep crushing it, SNL. Truly innovative stuff from Michael Che.— Justin Martin (@jmartinwrites) October 27, 2019
how come jenny slate says fuck one time on air but michael che can constantly make shitty jokes about minorities and he’s still on air? @nbcsnl— zoe (@zoentltc) October 27, 2019
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that @nbcsnl needs to be reminded that trans people should not be a punchline. Really really disappointed that the writers relied on such a hateful and lazy joke.— Elizabeth (@ElizabethAJRM) October 28, 2019
Hi @nbcsnl, please note that deadnaming and intentional misgendering is a form of transphobic violence. I'm so done with transphobic humor on #SNL ==> Michael Che Deadnames Caitlyn Jenner, Calls Her “Fella,” on “SNL” https://t.co/4dxavYDALF via @NewNowNext— Danielle Solzman (@DanielleSATM) October 28, 2019
#SNL Disappointed that the trans community was made fun of on national TV. Poor choice and bad joke. Michael Che we deserve an apology.— Rochelle Hill (@RochelleHill46) October 28, 2019
#SNL with a dumb set of Trans jokes culminating in a Caitlynn Jenner joke that had the audience audibly going "Oh no...".— Kevin D. Grüssing (Pronounced Grew-Sing) (@KevDGrussing) October 27, 2019
Again: Comedy that punches down ain't funny and never will be.
cis ppl! i know this is hard to understand but implying someone is trans to be funny tells me that you think my identity is a joke :) @nbcsnl do better— goblin man (@discountsquash) October 27, 2019
Michael Che and snl I luv u so so much but as a trans person that Caitlyn Jenner joke was...not cool— spooky trans lady (@advokatalina) October 28, 2019
HuffPost reached out to Che for comment but did not receive an immediate response. Jenner and NBC declined to comment.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.