Bowen Yang addresses Nikki Haley 'SNL' cameo in Instagram post

them/Youtube Aaron of L.A. Photography/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Did Bowen Yang take a dig at Nikki Haley’s ‘SNL’ appearance?

Yang appeared to mock the idea that 'everyone' wanted her there.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Feb 5, 2024

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley made a surprise cameo on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Cast member Bowen Yang responded with an ambiguous Instagram post of a note welcoming Haley to the SNL set from “everyone.”

Haley appeared in an SNL sketch that parodied a CNN town hall special with former President Donald Trump, impersonated by cast member James Austin Johnson. About five minutes into the skit, Haley appears as a “concerned South Carolina voter” who asks Johnson (as Trump) why he won’t “debate Nikki Haley” and suggests that Trump take a mental competency test.

This morning, Yang, who did not personally appear in the sketch, posted a photo of a note addressed to Haley on Instagram.

“[Ambassador] Haley,” the note read. “Welcome to Studio 8H! From, Lorne + Everyone at SNL.”

Yang captioned the enigmatic post “everyone! :)”.

Though Yang turned comments off on the post, many have interpreted it as his subtle way of signaling that he didn’t personally welcome Haley to the SNL set. Yang is openly gay. Haley has said that anti-LGBTQ bills like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law should be more restrictive.

“Bowen Yang having a rough three weeks at #SNL,” Jarrett Wieselman tweeted. “I really hope this doesn’t feel as pointedly cruel for him as it does from the outside.”

“Oh I know Bowen Yang is tired of the bullshit,” another X user wrote.

Yang’s Instagram post comes after comedian Dave Chappelle appeared during SNL‘s goodbye segment during last week’s show. Chappelle has made transphobic and homophobic remarks, and Yang was seen standing as far away from Chappelle as possible onscreen.

During her cameo, Haley was forced to address one of her recent offensive comments. When asked in December about the cause of the Civil War, Haley said it was over “the freedoms of what people could and couldn’t do,” and not slavery.

Actor and comedian Ayo Edibiri stood and asked Haley if slavery caused the Civil War.

“Yep, and I probably should have said that the first time,” Haley responded. “And live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

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*First Published: Feb 5, 2024, 2:04 pm CST