Nick Romano
August 01, 2017 at 10:21 AM EDT

Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che surprised viewers watching Saturday Night Live this weekend when he used the N-word during a segment with Colin Jost. 

The two comedians were discussing Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who controversially is refusing to stand during the national anthem before games to protest “a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

“It’s mostly white guys that are upset,” Che’s joke began. “And I can understand why white guys love the national anthem so much – because this country’s always been great for white guys. You absolutely should defend the national anthem. If I was white, I’d always defend the national anthem.”

He continued, “I expect white guys to defend the national anthem like I expected Phylicia Rashad to defend Bill Cosby. I’m sure when people were protesting The Cosby Show, Clair Huxtable was like, ‘I don’t know what he did to y’all, but the n—a made me rich!” 

Watch the clip below.


Viewers responded on social media following Che’s comment, with some surprised it wasn’t bleeped and others that he said it in the first place. Here’s a sampling:

The FCC does not regulate the use of the N-word, nor any racial epithet. NBC declined EW’s request for comment.

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