Speed Reads


Michael Che under fire after sharing shocking joke about Simone Biles

Saturday Night Live star Michael Che has sparked significant online backlash after sharing an offensive joke about Simone Biles. 

Che on Instagram wrote, "Man, I wanna make fun of Simone Biles," the gymnast who recently withdrew from competitions at the Olympics to focus on her mental health, per Page Six

"I got like 3 mins of Simone Biles jokes in my head," he wrote.

From there, Che posted a joke about Biles that was shared with him, which said that Larry Nassar "understands Simone Biles better than anyone" because "he too had to quit doing what he loved at the pinnacle of his career because of mounting pressure." Nassar is the former U.S women's national gymnastics team doctor and convicted sex offender who Biles has said sexually abused her. Che reacted to this joke by calling it "absolutely tasteless" but rating it a "9/10." He also shared another joke that said, "Who said black don't crack," which he also praised and rated an "8/10."  

Che's Instagram posts quickly drew heavy criticism, with director Matthew A. Cherry blasting the comedian as "trash" and journalist Stephanie Guerilus writing, "Michael Che is disgusting. He's always punching down. Simone Biles has more than enough going on without her sexual assault being turned into a cheap punch line." Activist Farrah Khan also wrote, "Larry Nassar sexually assaulted over 300 gymnasts including Simone Biles. Jokes about this immense violence are never okay," while tagging HBO Max and NBC and questioning why the comedian is "still on your roster." 

After Che jokingly claimed to have been "hacked," Newsweek notes his entire Instagram account is now empty. Based on his reaction, writer Delia Harrington tweeted the comedian perhaps "had no idea how beloved Simone Biles is, or just how messed up it is to share a Larry Nasser joke."