Late last week Saturday Night Live announced three new hires for their upcoming season and a few hours later, one of them was under intense media scrutiny over offensive jokes he made on podcasts. A twitter user had unearthed a conversation where Shane was making jokes about Asians, and accents, and used a slur word to describe Chinese people.
The weekend brought much outrage and disgust with many branding Gillis a racist and crying out that he was “spewing racial hatred” as if he were touring the country preaching about racial inferiority. By Monday, it had seemed that the outrage had started to die out. Shane had issued some apologies and explanations, the news stories were thinning out as real news started to creep back into headlines. Even Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, who had been the target of one of Gillis’ offending jokes had said he didn’t think Shane should be fired. In a CNN interview with Jake Tapper, Yang said that racial epithets hurt, but that the words of comedians should be taken in a different light.
Despite all of this, Saturday Night Live announced on Monday that when the show returns next week to start its 45th season, Gillis will not be joining the show.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL. 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.”
Gillis responded immediately on Twitter, saying he respected the decision, and was grateful for the opportunity, quickly adding, “I was always a MadTV guy anyway.”
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 16, 2019
Later Monday afternoon Andrew Yang announced that Shane had reached out to him and they would be sitting down to talk soon.