Shane Gillis will not be joining the cast of venerable sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live after clips surfaced of him spewing hate towards Asians, gays, women, and a host of other minorities.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” a show spokesperson said in a statement on behalf of creator Lorne Michaels. “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.”
After the announcement of Gillis's hiring on Thursday, clips of his podcast quickly emerged online — Gillis repeatedly used anti-Asian and homophobic slurs, imitated accents, ranked the humor of racial groups, and insulted women. None of the hateful comments were said in the context of a stand-up routine, but rather in a casual conversation with fellow comedian Matt McCusker. Though SNL officials claim they had no knowledge of the highly offensive podcasts, Gillis had been previously banned from a Philadelphia comedy club for his racist and homophobic sets.
Gillis issued a half-hearted apology that evening, saying he was sorry for anyone "actually offended by anything I've said."
Along with Gillis, SNL also hired Bowen Yang, the show's first East Asian performer and its third gay male performer. Kate McKinnon, who is a lesbian, is another notable queer performer on the show.
Gillis released a statement on Twitter following his firing: