Society

Colin Jost Faces Backlash For Transgender Joke On SNL

| by Sarah Zimmerman

"Saturday Night Live" star Colin Jost is facing intense backlash for a joke made during the show's popular "Weekend Update" segment Nov. 19.

Jost found himself in a fight of identity politics after implying that gender non-conformity is why President-elect Donald Trump won the election, according to The Washington Post.

"The dating app Tinder announced a new feature this week, which gives users 37 different gender identity options," Jost said on the show. "'It’s called: 'Why Democrats lost the election.'"

The joke immediately drew ire from Bustle senior editor Sam Escobar, who identifies as non-binary. Escobar posted a screenshot of Jost making the joke with the caption "What the f**k is this."

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The comment prompted other transgender and non-binary Twitter users to slam Jost. "I hated Jost before this. But this is a new low even by his miserable standards," said one person.

Jost defended himself over Twitter, linking to an op-ed from The New York Times titled "The End of Identity Liberalism," which argues that arguments of race and sexual identity have "distorted liberalism's message" and prevents the Democrats from having a unified party. The "Weekend Update" host claimed that the op-ed "expanded on [the joke's] idea."

Escobar again slammed Jost, according to the Daily Mail, responding, "It isn't that we 'don't get the joke.' We get it, you blame 'identity politics,' but for LGBTQ ppl these issues mean everything."

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Ben Hopkins, member of the Brooklyn queer punk duo PWR BTTM, also tweeted at Jost: "Do you not get this kind [of] hatred is why trump won the election? Shame. Shame shame shame."

But not everyone found the joke to be offensive. Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh defended Jost over twitter, writing: "Colin Jost] makes a joke about transgenders. The Left demands his head. The Left can't handle freedom. Such babies."

Criticism has been making its way out of social media and into the media, with both Deadspin and the A.V. Club writing think pieces condemning Jost, according to The Post. Neither Jost nor his co-host, Michael Che, has made an official response to the latest critiques.

Sources: The Washington Post, Daily Mail / Photo credit: Global TV/Facebook

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