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If you’re on the internet and even a mild fan of Saturday Night Live , then you’re probably well aware that co-head writer Michael Che does not like to be criticized. And if you dare to vocalize your thoughts on him, SNL or his castmates in a blog or a tweet, he will lash out — endlessly.
Former comedy writer Jack Allison took to The Outline to share his experience of basically being web-stalked by Che after he posted a tweet in June 2019 calling out SNL for its writing submission process. The submission agreement absolves the show from any accusations of theft if future sketches happen to be similar to submitted material, which can include any social media profile feeds submitted along with applications.
Allison posted screenshots of these details at the time, writing, “The funniest thing about the SNL Writing Submission site is it absolves then from stealing your ideas, and then also says if you include a link to your social media it counts for everything you’ve ever posted as well.”
Despite tagging neither the show nor any cast-members, Che quickly found the tweet and reposted it to his Instagram stories, where he scrawled over top of it, “lol the shit people worry about.. i think you’ll be fine, man.” He followed it up by referring to Allison as “one of those bearded white guys with glasses that hates snl, not much about his personal life on there, but im sure its awesome.”
Che has repeatedly mocked Allison for everything from the way he looks to the food he eats to his work via his Instagram since then, provoked by absolutely nothing other than the initial tweet. Inevitably, whenever Che would mock Allison, his many followers would then harass Allison, too.
He isn’t alone. After Uproxx writer Steven Hyden wrote a piece in April 2019 about why SNL co-head writer Colin Jost is so reviled, Che came after him too.
Hyden said to Allison, “Che apparently didn’t like the column, and he decided to mock me on his Instagram. He called me a ‘mediocre ass white dude’ and then said I like to ‘suck off rescue dogs.’ … Also, someone — can’t say it was Che, though it happened immediately after he went into his tirade against me — went into my Wikipedia page and changed it to reflect my supposed preference for having sex with canines.”
Numerous other writers have taken to Twitter to call out Che for accosting them online for stories they’ve written about SNL or about things that have nothing to do with him at all, including The Mary Sue ’s Rachel Leishman and Outline writer Seth Simons.
Simons said to Allison, “It’s all very weird. Michael has an extremely powerful, visible position that he uses to obsessively demean people who criticize him. That he can apparently do this without consequence signals to every other bully in comedy, an industry full of bullies, that they can too.”
If anything, it certainly gives comedy a bad name, particularly the boys’ club of SNL , which is still considered top-tier comedy status despite negative critical reception and inconsistent viewership numbers.
“It reflects the conflict-free bubble where (Che) lives his everyday life, as he’s accustomed to a level of deference simply by virtue of his professional position,” Allison concludes. “When everyone in your personal orbit either works at SNL or wants to work at SNL , it probably is a shock to see ‘ SNL is bad’ plainly stated. When that bubble is pierced, he appeals to his job title — accusing people of jealousy or, in my case, falling back on the old “You’ll never work in this town again” threat-advice. … This culture of self-congratulation and shutting out criticism is a great way to feel good about making a lot of money working on a big, important TV show, but it also stifles what could be useful self-reflection about one’s work.”
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020