Mayor Marty Walsh says he wants to sit down with SNL’s Michael Che to talk with the comedian about his experiences with racism in Boston.
“Clearly it is something that is still inside of him and still bothers him or he wouldn’t have made that statement,” Walsh said Friday during an interview on Boston Public Radio.
The Weekend Update host said during a recent appearance at Boston University that he stood by his pre-Super Bowl comment that Boston is “the most racist city” he’s ever been to. He later explained on Instagram that he still loves the city, just like he loves his “racist” grandmother.
Walsh said it was “disturbing” to hear the comedian’s comments and that his administration has reached out “indirectly” to the SNL cast member.
“He’s clearly had some bad experiences in this city, in this state, because I think it’s more than Boston,” the mayor said. “But, hopefully, I’d love to sit down and talk to him about it and express what we’ve done in the city and the things that we’ve done over the last three years with the race dialogues and diversity office. That won’t erase his experience but what it will do is help us understand better.”
Walsh brought up comments made by Denzel Washington in 2014. During a press conference for his Boston-filmed movie The Equalizer, the actor recounted his experience with racial discrimination in the city in the mid-80s.
The mayor said he’d also love to talk to Washington as well with the hope that the high-profile actors could help city officials “really understand and see where they’re coming from and then have them help us tell the story that we are working to change those experiences in our city.”
Listen to Walsh’s full interview here.