For all its inconsistency, Saturday Night Live remains a place people turn to for some light in dark times. Now, one cast member is providing some good news amid the bad off the air, as well. Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che has announced he’s paying the rent for all 160 units in the public housing complex where his grandmother lived before her passing.
Che’s grandma died earlier this month after contracting the novel coronavirus. In honor of her memory, he’ll cover one month’s rent for all her neighbors in the NYC Housing Authority building where she resided.
“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 in an Instagram post. He went on to call his charitable act “a drop in the bucket,” saying, “So I really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness fr all the people in public housing, AT THE VERY LEAST.”
Che signed off by reaching out to some of New York’s most powerful politicians and moguls: “De Blasio! Cuomo! Diddy! Let’s fix this! Page me!”
The state of New York has yet to seriously consider a rent freeze, even for public housing. Still, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed his support for such measures, saying last week that he would be making a push to “do it quickly in the coming weeks.”
Che disclosed his grandmother’s death on April 6th via Instagram, though he has since deleted the post. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he wrote,
“I’m doing OK, considering. I’m obviously very hurt and angry that she had to go through all that pain alone. But I’m also happy that she’s not in pain anymore. And I also feel guilty for feeling happy. Basically the whole gamut of complex feelings everybody else has losing someone very close and special. I’m not unique. But it’s still scary. I don’t know if I’ll lose someone else to this virus. I don’t know if I’ll be lost to this virus. Who fucking knows?”