The 70th Annual Emmy Awards kicked off on Monday night with a tongue-in-cheek emphasis on diversity and the usual awkwardness when limp jokes fell flat — as well as (also as usual) privileged members of Tinseltown congratulating and air-kissing one another.
But one remark from co-host and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Michael Che (pictured above left) left many angry.
During Che’s opening monologue with fellow “Saturday Night Live” star Colin Jost (above right), Che said his mother would not be watching the awards show Monday night.
“My mother is not watching,” Che explained. “She says she doesn’t like watching white award shows because you guys don’t thank Jesus enough.”
The Hollywood glitterati giggled in their seats.
Che continued, “That’s true. The only white people that thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crackheads.”
Twitter lit up with reactions, many from people who honor Jesus as the Savior of mankind — not a saver of tired punchlines.
“Okay @DaytimeEmmys #MichaelChe I am not a Republican neither an ex- crack head do I get to thank #Jesus according to your standards? I’m a believer any and WILL thank JESUS! Really bad writing,” one user wrote, noted Fox News.
“Michael Che — do not knock JC — Jesus is just all right with me.”
Michael Che – do not knock JC – Jesus is just all right with me. #emmys
— Mary Beth Coudal (@MaryBethC) September 18, 2018
“This has to be one of the dumbest remarks I’ve ever heard from some Hollywood actor. Absolutely outrageous!” another tweet read, as Fox News reported.
Related: Henry Winkler Wins His First Emmy and Reads Speech He Wrote ’43 Years Ago’
Chrissy Teigen later joked with her husband, John Legend, who played the title role in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” as they presented an award.
“Thank you, Jesus,” she said, before adding, “That’s for you, Michael.”
"Thank you, Jesus," Chrissy Teigen tells her husband John Legend, who played the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar. That one was for Michael Che, she joked. #Emmys
— Emily McFarlan Miller (@emmillerwrites) September 18, 2018
Regina King, who won an Emmy for best actress in a limited series or television movie for her work in “Seven Seconds,” continued the trend.
“I want to curse right now. This is good. Thank you, Jesus.”
Hollywood (at least those who were sitting there) roared its approval.
— LesgoKnicks (@clayfilms) September 18, 2018
Maybe the height of casual blasphemy came from Thandie Newton, who won an Emmy for her role in Netflix’s “Westworld.”
“I don’t even believe in God,” she exclaimed, “but I’m going to thank her tonight.”
"I don't even believe in God, but I'm going to thank Her tonight…" Thandie Newton, on accepting her Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
— karenbates (@karenbates) September 18, 2018
Soon, people were tweeting their own “Thank you, Jesus” comments.
— Amanda (@OnidaGirl) September 18, 2018
— Global Grind (@GlobalGrind) September 18, 2018
See the opening monologue of the 2018 Emmys in the video below.