'Saturday Night Live' Fires New Cast Member Shane Gillis After Using Racist And Homophobic Slurs
Comedian Shane Gillis has been fired from the popular program after racist and homophobic comments he made on a podcast last year resurfaced.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” a spokesperson for the late-night show said in a statement Monday.
“We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as a comedian and his impressive audition for SNL. We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
Following the statement, Gillis issued a statement over Twitter, which read:
“I’m happy to apologise to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said,” adding, “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”
He then again fired back over the platform, saying he “was always a Mad TV guy anyway" -- in reference to the show's one-time rival.
The offensive jokes in question were from a 2018 clip from “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast,” which was rediscovered by comedy writer Seth Simons, in which Gillis and host Matt McCusker repeatedly use racial slurs and make fun of Chinese people.
“Let the f****g ch***s live there,” Gillis says in the clip.
He goes on to say that “an Asian trying to learn English” bothers him more than “any other minority playing music in a restaurant loud on their phone.”
Later, he insisted his jokes were “nice racism, good racism.”
Following his apology, prominent voices such as Roxane Gay and Emily Yoshida condemned the comedian's comments.
"It's not risky to be racist," Gay said. "It's boring. The material wasn't even funny. Apologise for that."
SNL is set to return on September 28 for its 45th season with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.