Sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” has fired its new hire, Shane Gillis, just days after videos surfaced of the actor making racist jokes about Asians.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining ‘SNL,'” an ‘SNL’ spokesperson on behalf of Lorne Michaels said in a statement to CNN. “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 news broke, Gillis took to Twitter, saying, “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get ‘SNL.’ That can’t be taken away.” He added: “Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at ‘SNL,’ but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a Mad TV guy anyway.”
Gillis, who was just hired last week, was called out for his long history of making racist remarks about Asian Americans and homosexuals during episodes of his and fellow comedian Matt McCusker’s “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.” In one since-deleted video, Gillis said, “Let the f—ing ch–ks live there,” of Chinatown. Gillis also mocks a Chinese accent, the language barrier and says, “Chinatown’s f—ing nuts.”
When the backlash hit Gillis Monday night, the comedian responded with “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.”