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‘I Meant No Offense’: Michael Che Hits Back at ‘Cultural Appropriation’ Allegations Following ‘AAVE’ Backlash From ‘SNL’ Skit

Comedian Michael Che has addressed the criticism surrounding one of his latest “Saturday Night Live” skits. The controversy stemmed from Che’s Gen Z Hospital skit, which aired on the highly anticipated Saturday, May 8, episode — the first new episode in as many weeks that featured an appearance from billionaire host Elon Musk.

During the segment, actors poked fun at popular internet phrases such as “bruh,” “no cap,” and “sis” and attributed their popularity to GenZ and social media users, as opposed to the Black community and African American Vernacular English, also known as AAVE. The skit featured cast members Melissa Villaseñor, Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner Ego Nwodim and Mikey Day.

US comedian Michael Che arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Mark Twain Award for American Humor on October 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C. – This years’ award recipient is comedian Dave Chappelle. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The backlash ensued almost immediately as viewers took to their social media platforms, where they called out the series for making fun of AAVE. One Twitter user wrote, “This is why black people (AA) want to gatekeep aave.” That person added, “Aave isn’t some funny internet language created by some teens on TikTok nor is it slang, it’s a whole dialect with its own rules. Black people have been literally speaking like this during slavery of course-.”

Another person commented, “Yeah no, this is unacceptable. AAVE is NOT Gen Z slang, it’s NOT twitter slang, and it’s definitely a form of appropriation when used like this so thanks for mocking Black culture. if a bunch of millennials can do the research, I know SNL can too.”

“You guys really ran out of jokes after the election huh?” a third expressed. “You know this is making fun of black people..”

Following the blowback from viewers, Che took to his Instagram page to address the situation in a since-deleted post captured by “E! News.” The actor wrote, “I’ve been reading about how my ‘gen z’ sketch was misappropriating AAVE,” before admitting that he didn’t know what AAVE meant. “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…”

The 37-year-old continued, “Look, the sketch bombed. I’m used to that. I meant no offense to the ‘aave’ community. I love aave. Aave to the moon! If I could stop one person from calling everybody bro and bestie, I’m happy with that.”

Check out the clip below. 

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