Saturday Night Live’s edgiest cast member Michael Che took to Instagram this week to post jokes about top American gymnast Simone Biles for withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics after a shaky vault performance.
After Che said he wanted to “make fun of Simone Biles,” he posted numerous screenshots of jokes followers sent him about Biles that he rated on a scale from 1-10.
One of the jokes Che rated referenced convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who abused hundreds of girls and women. Biles previously came forward as one of his victims.
However, following backlash Che mocked his critics, joking that his account was hacked and assuring his fans he “only” makes “jokes about whites and cops.” Emphasizing his point, Che then made a reference to rapper DeBaby, who’s in hot water for making remarks critics have blasted as homophobic. “Yall hear about dababy tho..? that’s crazy,” the SNL cast member wrote.
“Man, I wanna make fun of Simone Biles,” Che posted to his Instagram stories. “I got like three mins of Simone Biles jokes in my head. I’m going to the cellar tonight to say them into a microphone. As the dorky kids say, I’m choosing violence.”
He later posted a screenshot of the Nassar-centered joke, captioning it, “Goddamn, that’s rough. Absolutely tasteless. 9/10.”
Another joke Che screenshotted read, “Okay, so I am shivering while typing this.. but you are encouraging me. ‘Who said black don’t crack?'”
“Now that’s a good joke,” Che captioned the post. “Economical. Referential. Balanced. Good job. 8/10.”
Reacting to backlash, Che published an Instagram post joking that he was “hacked.”
“Maaannnn, I got hacked today. Can’t beleive they got me. Y’all know I only do jokes about whites and cops. S’all good now, I changed my password and everything.. anyway, y’all hear about debaby tho..? That’s crazy.. iight. See y’all at church. Imma get there early.”
Biles stunned fans and competitors this week when she pulled out of the women’s gymnastic team finals at the Olympics, citing her mental health.
“Whenever you get in a high-stress situation, you kind of freak out. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being,” Biles told reporters.
“We have to protect our body and our mind. It just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head.”
“I feel like I’m also not having as much fun — and this Olympic Games I wanted it to be for myself and it felt like I was still doing for other people — and that hurts my heart that doing what I love has been taken away from me.”
“There’s more to life than just gymnastics,” Biles added.
The 24-year-old then made the decision to skip the individual all-around competition.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition, in order to focus on her mental health,” a statement from USA Gymnastics said. “Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in the qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around.”
“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Che has since deleted all his Instagram posts.