The 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards air Monday, Sept. 17 and will be hosted by Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost. But it shouldn't be. Che and Jost are mostly fine as "Weekend Update" hosts, if rarely the best part of the show. But to have the first Emmys of the #MeToo era hosted by two bro-y dudes with a history of making highly questionable jokes is not good for progress.
In Che's case, his perceived sexism is not even distant history -- in March he sicced his social media followers on Daily Beast writer Samantha Allen after she wrote an article criticizing transphobic language he used in a stand-up special. Jezebel noted that this was not the first time Che has reacted hostilely to criticism from women. Even more recently, Che defended admitted sexual harasser Louis C.K.'s return to standup, which critics of C.K. found in poor taste as C.K. has not made any apparent restitution for his behavior. "I don't know what he's done to right that situation, and it's none of my business," Che wrote. (Even though it apparently is his business to tell people offended by C.K.'s return that they're wrong.) "But I do believe any free person has a right to speak and make a living." He had almost the same take as crotchety old Norm Macdonald, who anchored "Weekend Update" back in the '90s. Che is only 35 and got his start in comedy less than a decade ago, but his commitment to defending sexism is old-school.
Jost isn't as abrasive as Che. He's a better listener and less inflammatory than Che, but he had a transphobic joke fiasco of his own. He has a reputation as someone who treats up-and-coming comics well, but also as someone who's not that funny.
In one sense, it makes sense that NBC would give the gig to Che and Jost. Jimmy Fallon probably knows he's not the guy to host this Emmys either, and while Seth Meyers actually did host the first awards show of the #MeToo era and did a very good job handling the sexual harassment issue, the Golden Globes was maybe a little too recent to give Meyers another hosting assignment.
Even if NBC was insistent on keeping the upcoming host in the SNL family, why not give it to cast members (and Emmy nominees) Kate McKinnon and/or Leslie Jones? They're funnier, more famous and much more well-liked than Che and Jost (people who don't like Leslie Jones are wrong and bad). We're supposed to be pushing for equality right now. The Emmys hosting job should have gone to a woman. Over the Emmys' history, female hosts remain few and far between (a woman hasn't hosted the Emmys since Jane Lynch in 2011).
People on Twitter were unhappy with the choice when it was announced.
To be fair, plenty of people were excited about the announcement, too.
Che and Jost are capable of being funny and making smart observations. Their Trump material tends to be pretty good. Hopefully they bring their A-games and don't say Les Moonves was just doing what guys do or whatever. Most likely, their hosting will be on the mediocre side of just fine. And it won't be the best version of what an NBC Emmys could have been.
The 70th Annual Primetime Emmys air Monday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET 5 p.m. PT on NBC.