Or will another kind of ‘”cancel” come Saturday Night Live‘s way? The oh-so-progressive comedy series has come under fire for a joke told by Michael Che this weekend about Joe Biden’s reversal of Donald Trump’s ban on transgendered people in the military. The joke got a big laugh, but activists quickly demanded action for the “transphobic” gag.
Should Lorne Michaels be worried that this story keeps getting promoted by … NBC News?
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and cast member Michael Che have been accused of transphobia following a controversial joke this past weekend.
During the “Weekend Update” segment, Che addressed President Joe Biden’s recent executive order reversing the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.
“It’s good news, except Biden is calling the policy, ‘don’t ask, don’t tuck,’ which is not good news,” Che said.
One has to wonder whether the venerable series might be running out of time at their network This got reported by NBC News yesterday morning, but they keep promoting it on Twitter even through this morning. The report itself only includes one supportive statement for SNL from a transgender comedian who wants to focus on “issues that truly matter,” but you have to get through a number of outraged reactions from “transgender advocates and allies” before reading Flame Monroe’s lukewarm defense, one that rested on the assumption that “what Michael Che said has no validity.”
Put together, that’s not exactly a ringing defense of NBC’s own five-decade institution. Michaels and the gang might experience a more traditional form of cancelation at some point, or at least that’s what NBC News’ promotion of the outrage aimed at its own property seems to suggest. If I were Che and had the NBC News official Twitter account in my feed, I’d be getting a bit nervous.
This episode doesn’t bode well for SNL and comedy in general in the post-Trump era. SNL could safely mine Trump for cheap clapter from progressive audiences; what can they do with Joe Biden and Democrats’ control of Washington? Not much, if this reaction to a dumb joke at progressives’ expense is an indication. The material will get very thin and the jokes even thinner if SNL wants to remain at all topical and relevant. Especially with their own network leading the cancel-culture outrage on social media.