Shane Gillis, a 31-year-old comedian, has been dropped from Saturday Night Live after videos of him making racial slurs about Chinese people surfaced.
Shane Gillis was slated to begin his work on the famous US comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live. However, soon after his casting was announced; the footage resurfaced showing the comic in a podcast where he made some racial slurs. An SNL spokesman said, ‘After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL.’
Shane Gillis took to Twitter to respond to the decision made by the show. He said, ‘Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction.’ The decision to drop him comes only after a week of him being hired for the NBC show.
In a statement released on Monday, an SNL spokesman stated that the decision to let go of Shane Gillis was made after a discussion with him. He said, ‘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.’
Shane Gillis was hired for the 45th season of the show. However, a podcast from September 2018 resurfaced soon enough. It showed Mr. Gillis mocking Chinese people. Another episode of the podcast from the same month, the comic was also heard using slurs for describing Hollywood producer Judd Apatow and comedian Chris Gethard.
Shane Gillis defended himself by saying that he is a comedian who pushes boundaries. He further added, ‘My intention is never to hurt anyone, but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.’ SNL had also announced two other new cast members along with Shane Gillis; Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang.
Shane Gillis responded on Thursday night by posting this on Twitter, ‘I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of bad misses” and that “I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.’
In fact, a number of people have actually taken him up on this offer. Television creator Daniel Chun wrote, ‘I was offended, Shane!’ In support of Shane Gillis though, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang – who was also a target of a May podcast – spoke out saying that he shouldn’t have to lose his job.
Andrew Yang said, ‘I’ve experienced a lot of anti-Asian racism throughout my upbringing, and it hurts. It’s something that is very real, and I do think anti-Asian racial epithets are not taken as seriously as slurs against other groups. But at the same time, bigger picture, I believe that our country has become excessively punitive and vindictive about remarks that people find offensive or racist and that we need to try and move beyond that, if we can, particularly in a case where the person is, in this case, to me, like a comedian whose words should be taken in a slightly different light.’
Shane Gillis is not the first comic to have to face the music in this era of the online world. Trevor Noah also faced a similar situation when he was hired as the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show back in 2015. Other notables mentions are of Kevin Heart and Sarah Silverman.
We have reached out to Shane Gillis for further details about this news, and we will be updating you as soon as we hear back from him.
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