Michael Che is getting sued by a prominent TikToker on allegations of stealing content.
According to Ace Showbiz, TikTok comedy star Kelly Manno is suing Che for allegedly stealing her “Homegirl Hotline” bit and using it on his HBO show, That Damn Michael Che. The outlet cites TMZ, which obtained the legal documents filed by Manno. In the suit, Manno states she’s the originator of the 2020 skit that imagines a hotlines service where “people unable to cope with certain social situations can call a hotline and order a ‘home girl'” for advice.
Che used a similar bit in his show, using the title “homegrrl.” In the particular episode, Che had four segments featuring the “homegrrl” concept, in which, like Manno’s skit, people called a “homegrrl” for help. Manno is claiming Che committed “willful copyright infringement.” She further backs up her claim by saying that Che included the phrase, “Thank you, homegrrl” in his skits, which Manno sees as a direct reference to the phrase used in her skits, “Thank you, Homegirl Hotline.” She is also seeking “maximum damages” and asking for HBO and Che to stop the segment from airing.
HBO and Che haven’t given a statement on the lawsuit at this time.
Che’s lack of a response is new for the often outspoken and controversial comedian. Che ran into hot water in July after posting a series of derogatory jokes about Olympian Simone Biles. The jokes came about after Biles withdrew from team competitions at the Tokyo Olympics, citing her mental health. Che was dragged on the internet for making fun of Biles, especially since one of the jokes he co-signed on Instagram referenced her sexual abuse. Che claimed his Instagram account was hacked, but subsequently scrubbed his social media of content.