'SNL' 's Michael Che Responds After Show Is Accused of Cultural Appropriation: 'The Sketch Bombed'

The Saturday Night Live star was the writer behind the “Gen Z Hospital” skit

Michael Che
Michael Che. Photo: Trae Patton/NBCU

Saturday Night Live received backlash from a skit on the May 8 episode that many felt was cultural appropriation.

The skit, written by Michael Che, titled "Gen Z Hospital" featured Kate McKinnon, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, Bowen Yang, and host Elon Musk using slang terms like "bestie," "no cap," "go off, king," "sis," "gang gang," and "it's the.... for me."

Many of those phrases are used in African American Vernacular English (AAVE), so some viewers responded to the skit on social media saying it was cultural appropriation or improperly labeled as the language as having only to do with Gen Z teenagers.

"This Gen Z hospital skit on SNL is so stupid. I'm so tired of nonblack people throwing random AAVE terms in their sentences and calling that horse s–t 'Gen Z language,'" one person tweeted.

Another person wrote, "the appropriation of AAVE by white people is gross, the mislabeling of AAVE as a 'Gen Z phenomenon' is also gross, but on top of that, the SNL skit reads like they just pulled a list of terms from UrbanDictionary and sprinkled them in, not caring that AAVE has a defined grammar!"

"Gen z hospital on snl was half aave.... inch resting," a viewer said.

Che, 37, later identified himself as the writer of the controversial skit and released a statement Monday in response to the backlash.

"I've been reading about how my 'gen z' sketch was misappropriating AAVE," he began. " And I was stunned because what the f–k is 'AAVE'? I had to look it up. Turns out it's an acronym for 'African American Vernacular English.' You know, AAVE! That ol' saying that actual Black people use in conversation all the time..."

Che added, "Look the sketch bombed. I'm used to that."

"I meant no offense to the 'AAVE' community. I love AAVE. AAVE to the moon," the comedian ended the statement.

Che captioned the post, "if i could stop one person from calling everybody bro and bestie, im happy with that."

Michael Che
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

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One Instagram user commented, "Che did you write it while drunk" and the Weekend Update co-host jokingly responded, "as opposed to....?"

"It made me stop saying bestie so I appreciated it," another commenter said.

Che replied, "It worked!!"

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