Saturday Night Live (SNL) alums Norm Macdonald and Robert Schneider have expressed their sympathy with comedian Shane Gillis after he was fired from the NBC comedy show on Monday following the resurfacing of old jokes where he used slurs against Asians and gays.
The firing has been widely criticized, including by SNL alums Norm Macdonald and Robert Schneider, who lamented the new era of “cultural unforgiveness” against comedians.
“As a former SNL cast member I am sorry that you had the misfortune of being a cast member during this era of cultural unforgiveness where comedic misfires are subject to the intolerable inquisition of those who never risked bombing on stage themselves,” wrote Schneider.
As a former SNL cast member I am sorry that you had the misfortune of being a cast member during this era of cultural unforgiveness where comedic misfires are subject to the intolerable inquisition of those who never risked bombing on stage themselves.
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) September 16, 2019
“Hey, Shane, I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine how you must feel,” added MacDonald. “The work it takes to get that show and to have it snatched away by some guy who does “Spoken Bird” poetry. Unacceptable. Please DM me, pal, when you have a moment. I’m so sorry.”
@Shanemgillis Hey, Shane, I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine how you must feel. The work it takes to get that show and to have it snatched away by some guy who does "Spoken Bird" poetry. Unacceptable. Please DM me, pal, when you have a moment. I'm so sorry.
— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) September 16, 2019
Gillis’ departure came just four days after SNL announced that he would be joining the cast for the show’s new season, premiering later this month.
The controversy began after the resurfacing of past remarks he made on Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast where he is heard talking about New York’s Chinatown. “Let the fucking chinks live there,” he says at one point, adding that a restaurant was “full of fucking Chinee [sic] in there.”
During other episodes of the podcast, he is heard using words such as “retard” and “faggot.”
SNL quickly took action over the matter, denouncing his remarks as “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable,” while apologizing that their “vetting process was not up to our standard.”
Gillis also found a supporter in the form of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, whose parents are ethnically Taiwan-Chinese. “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
His firing also came despite issuing a profuse apology last week over what he described as past “bad misses.”
“I’m a comedian who pushed boundaries. I sometimes miss,” he said in a statement. “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.”