Following a public outcry, Saturday Night Live newcomer Shane Gillis has been fired from the series before appearing in his first episode. Just days ago, Gillis was officially announced as a part of the cast of SNL along with Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman. Soon after, clips resurface on the web of Gillis joking about Chinese people in 2018 on an episode of his podcast, Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast. Although Gillis later expressed his regret for the jokes, it appears that it wasn't enough, as SNL has now officially cut ties with the comedian. Here's what a representative for SNL boss Lorne Michaels said in a statement about the situation.
"After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL. 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 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."
In the now-controversial episode of Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast, which was also filmed with the video posted to YouTube, Gillis and co-host Matt McCusker can be heard cracking jokes about Chinese people. Speaking about Chinatown, Gillis jokes, "Why do the f*cking ch*nks live there?" Gillis then makes a comment about how the stores have ducks in the windows, while Cusker also laments over how he doesn't like Chinese food. In the same episode, Gillis says that it annoys him when Chinese people try to speak English, describing it as more annoying than "any other minority playing music on their phone." Additionally, Gillis jokingly describes this assessment as "nice racism."
With these comments quickly putting Gillis in the hot seat following his SNL casting, it was necessary for the comedian to answer for them. Owning up to the jokes, Gillis describes them as lousy material from a comedian that didn't happen to land. "If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you're going to find a lot of bad misses. I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said," Gillis describes in a tweet addressing the situation, describing himself as a "comedian who pushes boundaries." Both the original comments and the response from Gillis have obviously drawn a lot of criticism for the public, and the negative attention was just clearly too much for SNL producers.
Still, while Gillis has been getting a lot of flak sent in his direction on social media over the past few days, there are others who've been supporting the comedian. One look at the comments on social media for stories about the situation makes it clear there are just as many people supporting Gillis, suggesting the comments were just jokes and the comic is merely a victim of what's become an overly politically correct culture. Oddly enough, even presidential hopeful Andrew Yang has weighed in on the situation, insisting he didn't want to see Gillis fired from SNL. "For the record, I do not think he should lose his job," Yang writes about the situation on Twitter, noting he would love to sit down with Gillis and speak to him about it. "We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human."
Still, even with Yang on his side, his time on SNL just wasn't meant to be. It's certainly been a roller coaster of a week for Gillis, but one thing is for sure - we probably won't be hearing him cracking jokes about Chinatown anymore. This news comes to us from Variety.