(Arthur Mola/invision/ap)

“SNL" star responds to viral catcalling video with street harassment joke

Michael Che offers sarcastic defense of creepy behavior with mini-rant


Sarah Gray
October 29, 2014 9:50PM (UTC)

Comedian Michael Che -- new "Weekend Update" anchor and former "Daily Show" correspondent -- is under fire for posting a clueless joke about street harassment to social media. Che was responding to the viral street harassment PSA released by actress Shoshana B. Roberts and Rob Bliss.

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i just saw the catcalling video & i am disgusted.

A photo posted by @chethinks on

Clearly comedy is often used as a method to explore topical and uncomfortable subjects -- to both confront and understand them -- but this joke reveals that Che doesn't quite understand what is so problematic about street harassment: Men feeling entitled to direct their unsolicited thoughts at women -- often but not limited to comments on their appearance or asking them to smile. Needless to say, this is very different from Che being recognized as a celebrity/public figure and being asked to take a photo.

Che later tweeted that many misunderstood his joke.

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Shortly after he posted this non-apology-apology:

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i just read my instagram. i am DISGUSTED.

A photo posted by @chethinks on

 

I wonder what his former "Daily Show" cast-member Jessica Williams would think? Earlier this month she starred in the segment "Jessica's Feminized Atmosphere" that lambasted the practice of catcalling.

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Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

MORE FROM Sarah Gray


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Instagram Joke Michael Che Sexual Harassment Snl Street Harassment The Daily Show Twitter Women

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