The comedy show also took a dig at Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who was criticised by the public for taking his family to Mexico while millions of his constituents were affected by extreme temperatures and power outages.
A Saturday Night Live comedian has set social media on fire following the latest episode of the show. Michael Che, who appears in a sketch about the fictional news programme Weekend Update, joked about Israel’s drive to immunise the population against COVID-19.
According to recent reports, nearly a half of Israel’s 8.6 million people have received the inoculation. Che joked that authorities did not vaccinate the Arabs that live in Israel.
“Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half”, the comedian said.
The joke elicited some laughter from the studio audience, but the TV audience apparently did not like it at all.
Scores of people took to social media criticising the comedian for what they described was an anti-Semitic joke.
So are we not going to talk about Michael Che’s antisemitic joke on weekend update?? @nbcsnl maybe be better than antisemitism
— Ariella (@bookworm123109) February 21, 2021
One user even suggested that Michael Che was stoking hatred against Jews.
#MichaelChe of @nbcsnl engaging in more antisemitic humor. Stoking hatred against Jews by perpetuating libels is no laughing matter. cc: @StopAntisemites pic.twitter.com/ATvq0zcUzV
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) February 21, 2021
Other netizens noted that Israel vaccinates all its citizens irrespective of their ethnicity or religious beliefs and said the joke was so bad that they wanted to erase their memory.
Israel’s non-Jewish population is only ~20%, not 50%, and vaccination is available to all citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike.
— Amir S. (@The_Real_A_S) February 21, 2021
Ok i did not see that, goodbye pic.twitter.com/wI636Ivm9b
— Mr.Werewolf 😷 (@MWarewolf) February 21, 2021
Many users noted that Che has previously made jokes that were deemed transphobic.
Oh,my. Thanks for explanation. I’m Jewish, I didn’t get it when I watched it. That’s not cool 👎. He made a transphobic “joke” a few weeks back 👎👎also.
— Allison♓✨ (@AllieK02) February 21, 2021
There were those who didn’t find the quip offensive.
It’s a rough time to not understand satire
— Deirdre Winberg (@danielasdrafts) February 21, 2021
Lol it was a good joke, and you’re an idiot.
— anotherSmith (@anotherSmith5) February 21, 2021
Incidentally, according to a report last month, Israel had vaccinated 43 percent of its Arab citizens over the age of 60. The number of vaccinated Israelis in this age group stands at 75 percent; however, the report emphasises that many Arabs in Israel avoid getting the jab because of conspiracy theories or mistrust about the efficacy of inoculations.
During SNL’s latest show, the comedians also took a jab at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his policy that resulted in thousands of coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes as well as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who went on a family vacation to Mexico while millions of his constituents were freezing in their homes without electricity.
The show also featured a sketch with pop star Britney Spears, portrayed by Chloe Fineman. The fake Britney Spears announced that she had started her own show called “Oops, You Did it Again” so that “people can come on and apologise for things they’ve done wrong”, a reference to the newly released documentary “Framing Britney Spears”.