The Saturday Night Live team has fired one of its newly announced cast members after his history of racist and homophobic jokes sparked outrage.
This Monday, NBC executives announced that comedian and SNL newbie-to-be Shane Gillis would no longer be a part of the beloved series’ 45th season, reports The Huffington Post.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” a spokesperson for the late-night show announced in a press statement.
“… 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.”
Shane Gillis out at SNL. From an SNL spokesperson on behalf of Lorne Michaels: pic.twitter.com/WEuv38LupZ
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) September 16, 2019
The controversy stems from comments Gillis made last year on his show Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast. Alongside co-host Matt McCusker, Gillis poked fun at Chinese Americans, using a mock Chinese accent, as Vulture first reported.
In another episode, the comic made pointed jabs at LGBTQ comedians and used anti-gay slurs like “faggot”:
These white faggot comics, they’re like, “I’m just sad life is hard, and I’m gay.”
Gillis went on to issue a lackluster apology on Twitter, which was received poorly, especially because his history of questionable humor nearly overshadowed a huge SNL milestone: Showrunners also had just hired Bowen Yang, a gay comic and the series’ first-ever cast member of Asian descent.
Shortly after the news of his firing broke, Gillis tweeted a response.
“Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL,” he wrote, “but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made… I was always a Mad TV guy anyway.”
Still waiting for that apology, Shane.