In what could be the show’s shortest lived tenure, comedian Shane Gillis has been fired from NBC’s Saturday Night Live after old jokes resurfaced in which the comedian used slurs against Asians and gays.
His departure comes just fours days after Saturday Night Live announced that Gillis was joining the cast for the show’s new season, set to start Sept. 28.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” a show spokesperson said on behalf of producer Lorne Michaels, in a statement.
“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.”
Gillis was fired despite issuing an apology last week.
“I’m a comedian who pushed boundaries. I sometimes miss,” Gillis said. “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
The media backlash against Gillis began almost immediately after Saturday Night Live announced that he was joining the cast.
A video clip from Gillis’ Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast resurfaced in which the comedian is heard talking about New York’s Chinatown.
“Let the fucking ch-nks live there,” Gillis said, adding that a restaurant was “full of fucking Chinee [sic] in there.”
The podcast series also featured Gillis using the words “retard” and “faggot.”
Despite numerous calls for him to be fired, Gillis found one defender — Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
“For the record, I don’t think he should lose his job,” Yang tweeted. “We would benefit from being more forgiving than punitive. We are all human.”
For the record, I do not think he should lose his job. We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 14, 2019