Only days after Saturday Night Live announced that Shane Gillis had been named as one of its three new cast members, the comedian is apologizing for past comedy acts where he used Asian slurs and jokes about gays and getting into “Muslim Heaven.”
After Shane Gillis was announced as a new member of the SNL crew, a video clip from last year resurfaced where the comedian is heard using insensitive language to describe New York’s Chinatown neighborhood, according to Variety.
The clip, from Gillis’ Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, features the comedian telling fellow comedian Matt McCusker, “Chinatown’s f—ing nuts.”
“Let the f—ing ch-nks live there,” Gillis added. A little later Gillis then recalls that a restaurant was “full of f—ing Chinee [sic] in there.”
The podcast was quickly deleted from Gillis’ Youtube channel.
In that same episode, Gillis jokes that the only way to get into “Muslim heaven,” is to “spill blood, you gotta praise Allah by spilling blood.”
today SNL announced the hiring of its first cast member of East Asian descent, and also this guy pic.twitter.com/0FAGJZJUkK
— Seth Simons (@sasimons) September 12, 2019
Gillis’ podcasts turns out to be filled with a lot of political incorrect puns about all sorts of the left’s favorite grievance classes. Not only do the pair slam Asians, but in other episodes they also go off on gays, women, and others.
A little more than 21 minutes into “Ep 146 – Live from Shane’s Parent’s Basement,” while talking about the Battle of Gettysburg, Gillis refers to soldiers yelling as “so gay.” About 29 minutes into the podcast, Gillis uses the word “retard,” and “f-ggot,” and shortly afterward he and McCusker joke about “hot Southern boys” being raped during the Civil War, comparing it to “having gay sex in jail.”
Gillis, in describing women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the war, refers to them as “flat chested f—ing bitch[es].”
In another segment, Gillis laughs about how he “loves to be a racist.”
The off-color verbiage Gillis used for Asians may be particularly touchy for him because one of the other new SNL cast members is Bowen Yang, the first full-time SNL cast member who is Asian.
The backlash on social media was swift against Gillis. Asian actress Cindy Chu, for instance, slammed Gillis as a “racist.”
“If you’re a comic & you think calling Chinese ppl chinks is funny, you’re a hack AND a racist,” Chu tweeted. “Oh, & you’re going to make fun of Chinese accents by replacing Ls w/ Rs? For every untalented Shane Gilis there are hundreds of talented Bowen Yangs who have had to fight tooth & nail.”
If you’re a comic & you think calling Chinese ppl chinks is funny, you’re a hack AND a racist. Oh, & you’re going to make fun of Chinese accents by replacing Ls w/ Rs? For every untalented Shane Gillis there are hundreds of talented Bowen Yangs who have had to fight tooth & nail https://t.co/ptiqm9eboG
— Cindy Pika Chu (@iamcindychu) September 13, 2019
Others also piled on:
I know so many comedians who DON’T have shit like this in their “past” (2018), and would be better for the job. Also, fuck both these guys. https://t.co/YiYnrVAMEN
— Ted Leo (@tedleo) September 13, 2019
We, like many, were very quickly disgusted by Shane Gillis' overt racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia – expressed both on and off stage – upon working with him years ago. We've deliberately chosen not to work with him in the years since.
— Good Good Comedy Theatre (@goodgoodcomedy) September 13, 2019
— Jake Choi (@TheJakeChoi) September 13, 2019
Every single remark is from 2018 so we won’t be playing that “they’re a decade old!!!” game this timehttps://t.co/bwz7bEbCVY
— Ira thee Third (@ira) September 13, 2019
In the year of our lord 2019, SNL hired one of the few Asian cast members it has ever had…and this guy, who mocked Chinatown and called Chinese people “fucking chinks.” https://t.co/RGbFDzHqyT
— Marina Fang (@marinafang) September 12, 2019
For his part, Gillis put out a statement explaining that he is a “comedian who pushes boundaries.”
“I’m a comedian who pushed boundaries. I sometimes miss,” Gillis tweeted. “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. My intention is never to hurt anyone, but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes hat requires risks.”
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 13, 2019
Neither NBC nor SNL had released any statements on the controversy at press time.
The coming season of the late-night comedy show is scheduled to begin Sept. 28.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.