“Saturday Night Live” cast member Michael Che deleted all his Instagram posts after he faced wrath online Friday for joking about gymnast Simone Biles bowing out of Olympics competitions.
“Man, I wanna make fun of Simone Biles,” he wrote on his Instagram Story Thursday. “I got like 3 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.”
Followers who sent him jokes about Biles had those jokes reposted to his Story. One of the reposted jokes was about Larry Nassar, the doctor sentenced to prison after being accused of sexual abuse by more than 150 women. He worked with Oympians and young female gymnasts for years. Biles is among his accusers.
“Larry Nassar understands Simone Biles better than anyone,” said the joke. “He too had to quit doing what he loved at the pinnacle of his career because of mounting pressure.”
A representative for NBC, which broadcasts both “SNL,” and the Olympics, did not return a request for comment.
On Twitter, others had plenty to say about Che’s jokes, which he later seemingly sarcastically said were the result of a hack. “Man, I got hacked today, can’t believe they got me,” he posted. “Yall kno [sic] I only do jokes about whites and cops.”
“Michael Che comes for people he thinks he can get away with dunking on. Trans women, Black women, sexual assault survivors. Judging by his flimsy ‘I got hacked’ defense, it seems he had no idea how beloved Simone Biles is, or just how messed up it is to share a Larry Nasser joke,” said writer Delia Harrington.
Sports and gossip site Baller Alert posted a tweet that said, “come on bro.”
On Wednesday, Biles withdrew from the all-around gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health. Her decision came one day after she withdrew during the first round of the team competition after faltering on the vault, which is typically her strongest event. The four-time Olympic gold medalist received both criticism and resounding praise for her decision to prioritize her health over a possible medal and much of that praise came from fellow gymnasts.