Twitter Furiously Reacts to Michael Che's 'Insensitive' Simone Biles Jokes

Social media users are collectively raging against comedian Michael Che's insensitive comments about Simone Biles posted to his Instagram account on Thursday evening.

In a series of since-deleted Instagram stories, the Saturday Night Live (SNL) star posted several cruel jokes at the expense of the gymnast, who withdrew from the team and all-around finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this week for mental health reasons.

Michael Che come on bro smh

— BallerAlert (@balleralert) July 29, 2021

While Che has wiped his Instagram account of all posts and stories, the verified Twitter account @balleralert, which focuses on "News, Events, Gossip, Sports" per the account's bio, uploaded screenshots in which Che makes fun of Biles' situation.

His first story read: "man, I wanna make fun of Simone Biles."

He continued: "I got like 3 mins of Simone Biles jokes in my head. Im going to the cellar tonight to say them into a microphone. As the dorky kids say I'm choosing violence."

In one direct message he received and posted, was a joke about Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor convicted of sexually abusing hundreds of girls and women. Calling it "rough" and "absolutely tasteless," he gave the comment a "9/10" rating.

Twitter soon lit up with angry responses to Che's posts. "between michael che just *needing* to crack a rape joke and the activision/blizzard 'cosby room', rape culture is very alive and well," reporter Roslyn Talusan tweeted.

"Michael Che is disgusting," journalist Stephanie Guerilus wrote. "He's always punching down. Simone Biles has more than enough going on without her sexual assault being turned into a cheap punch line."

Michael Che sharing that rape joke about Simon Biles reminds me of this:

Rape jokes are often used to "put a woman in her place"

— Wagatwe Wanjuki 🇰🇪 🇧🇸 (@wagatwe) July 30, 2021

Anti-rape activist and feminist theorist Wagatwe Wanjuki also weighed in on the matter, noting that "Rape jokes are often used to 'put a woman in her place.'" She then linked to her blog post explaining the problematic history associated with jokes surrounding sexual assault.

"Rape jokes are used to target victims and remind them who has more power in society," she wrote. "Thus, power-based reinforcing humor encompasses the type of rape humor that has the potential to exacerbate rape culture by targeting individuals who have experienced sexual violence. Such humor may also target women in general, because they are statistically more likely to be raped than men, and they maintain a lower position than men in the sexual hierarchy."

"When sexist men feel insecure about their place in society, they seek comfort in using rape jokes to 1) bond; 2) harass; & 3) reassert their position in society," she continued in her Twitter thread. "It's like, 'yeah you're getting all this support now, but don't forget men are in charge!'"

Yes @nbcsnl @nbc is on hiatus, but doesn't Michael Che have an @HBO deal too? It'd be a great time to act on all the big talk of listening to Black women, and drop that talent-free wastrel who constantly maligns us. We have receipts for years but this latest stunt is inexcusable.

— @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) July 30, 2021

Several also demanded that Che face repercussions at work for his comments. Actress and writer Pia Glenn pointed out that Che, in addition to SNL, also stars in the HBO Max series That Damn Michael Che, a sketch and vignette show that was recently approved for a second season, according to Deadline.

"Yes @nbcsnl @nbc is on hiatus, but doesn't Michael Che have an @HBO deal too? It'd be a great time to act on all the big talk of listening to Black women, and drop that talent-free wastrel who constantly maligns us. We have receipts for years but this latest stunt is inexcusable," Glenn wrote.

"At least mediocre white men who keep failing up have racism on their side; awful, yet it makes sense," she continued in a Twitter thread detailing Che's other controversies, including his "anti-Semitic" vaccination jokes made on SNL in February 2021 and his controversial comments about sexual harassment women face on the street in 2014.

"But Che - how are you breaking boundaries just to fail? How are you rising to some of the highest ranks in American comedy and still haven't ever Googled 'what is humor'???"

colin jost opening twitter to see both scarjo and michael che trending

— rickie (@wafflesknope) July 30, 2021

Several also attempted to find humor in the situation, noting that Che's comments come on the heels of SNL costar Colin Jost's wife Scarlett Johansson's decision to sue Disney over the release of Black Widow. The actress claims her contract was breached when the company released the film on its Disney+ streaming service at the same time as it received its theatrical debut. Disney responded with a brutal statement, labeling Johansson's lawsuit "distressing"— suggesting the studio has no intention of backing down.

"colin jost opening twitter to see both scarjo and michael che trending," one Twitter user joked, attaching a gif of Grandpa Simpson from The Simpsons entering and immediately leaving a room.

"Between ppl trashing ScarJo and Michael Che being sentient trash, it's a tough day to be Colin Jost!" Glenn chimed in.

— BallerAlert (@balleralert) July 30, 2021

@balleralert on Twitter later posted another since-deleted screenshot from Che's Instagram account, in which he claimed he was "hacked" and that he himself had not issued the previous statements about Biles.

"maaannnn, i got hacked today. cant believe they got me," he alleged. "yall kno i only do jokes about whites and cops.

"s'all good now, i changed my password and everything..," he continued. "anyway, yall hear about dababy tho.. ? thats crazy..

"iight. see yall at church. imma get there early," Che concluded.

However, Twitter was not quick to accept Che's excuse. "Not Michael Che using the same IG font as his 'hacker,'" television producer Kirk A. Moore wrote.

"I say this from the depths of my soul f*** Michael Che for coming after Simone Biles in the most despicable and depraved way possible," @QondiNtini added.

Newsweek has reached out to Che's representatives for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Michael Che slammed for Simone Biles jokes
SNL star Michael Che has been widely criticized on Twitter for his insensitive remarks about Simone Biles in light of her recent mental health struggles. This is a photo composite of Biles and Che. LEFT TO RIGHT: FRED LEE/Getty Images, ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images