Michael Che was "stunned" to be accused of cultural appropriation because of a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch
The 37-year-old comic acknowledged that the 'Gen Z Hospital' sketch - which featured guest host Elon Musk, Kate McKinnon, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, and Bowen Yang using slang terms like "bestie", " "go off, king", "sis", and "gang gang" - had "bombed" but insisted he had no idea the phrases were used in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) so didn't expect the criticism
13 May 2021
Following the airing of the sketch, one viewer tweeted: "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*** 'Gen Z language (sic)"
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Another 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!(sic)"
In response, Michael revealed he had written the controversial sketch and insisted he hadn't intended to cause offense.
He said in a statement: "I've been reading about how my 'gen z' sketch was misappropriating AAVE.
"And I was stunned because what the f*** 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...
"Look the sketch bombed. I'm used to that.
"I meant no offense to the 'AAVE' community. I love AAVE. AAVE to the moon."
He captioned the post: "if i could stop one person from calling everybody bro and bestie, im happy with that.(sic)"
In response, one Instagram user asked if he'd written the sketch while drunk.
The 'Weekend Update' co-host joked in response: "as opposed to....?(sic)"
And another fan made Michael feel he'd achieved what he'd set out to with the skit.
The commenter posted: "It made me stop saying bestie so I appreciated it."
Michael replied, "It worked!!"