“Saturday Night Live” star Michael Che has committed to paying one month’s rent for 160 residents of a New York City public housing building as a tribute to his grandmother, who died last week of coronavirus-related complications.
Che disclosed his decision on Instagram in a post that called on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and others to find a solution to the rent crisis that many New Yorkers are facing amid the widespread unemployment caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. Che disclosed the death of his grandmother last week when “SNL” returned to the airwaves with its first-ever remote production. Che will cover the rent for other residents in the building where she lived, to honor her memory and make a statement about the rent crisis in the city.
“It’s crazy to me that residents of public housing are still expected to pay their rent when so many New Yorkers can’t even work,” Che wrote on Instagram. Of his decision to cover rent for residents of his grandmother’s building, Che wrote: “I know that’s just a drop in the bucket. So I really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness for all the people in public housing, AT THE VERY LEAST.”
Che closed his post with a “P.S.” addressed to de Blasio, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and hip hop mogul Sean Combs. “De Blasio! Cuomo! Diddy! Let’s fix this! Page me!”
Che did not specify the building or elaborate on the details of his grandmother’s death. NBC’s “Today” identified Che’s grandmother’s as Martha.
Che is co-anchor with Colin Jost of “SNL’s” “Weekend Update” segment and co-head writer of the show. He’s been a writer for “SNL” since 2013 and on air with the show since 2014. Che and Jost co-hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast in 2018.