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Saturday Night Live: Michael Che Drops the N-Word During National Anthem Discussion

Was it on purpose or an accident?

Sadie Gennis

Michael Che said the N-word during the "Weekend Update" segment of Saturday Night Live's season premiere, leaving viewers to wonder whether it was an accident or not.

Che and his "Weekend Update" co-anchor Colin Jost were discussing San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest of the National Anthem. Che explained that only white people are upset by those who protesting "The Star-Spangled Banner" because this country "has always been great for white guys."

"I expect white guys to defend the National Anthem like I expected Phylicia Rashad to defend Bill Cosby," Che explained. "I'm sure when people were protesting the Cosby Show, I'm sure Clair Huxtable was like, 'I don't know what he did to y'all, but n---- made me rich!'"

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While many viewers assumed Che said the N-word accidentally, it's entirely possible it was planned -- and this wouldn't be the first time. Sasheer Zamata said it in May while discussing the controversy surrounding Larry Wilmore's use of it at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Will Ferrell sang it while covering "Big Poppa" as Robert Goulet. And musical guests, such as Kanye West, have also used the controversial word during their performances.

In addition to the N-word, SNL's premiere included the word "p----." So before anyone goes accusing Che of making a mistake, maybe we should consider that SNL is simply taking an edgier direction this season.