SNL Drops Comedian Shane Gillis Over Use Of Slurs

Four days after his racist, sexist, and homophobic comments were uncovered, comedian Shane Gillis was fired by Saturday Night Live before his tenure on the iconic comedy sketch program began.

"After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL," the show's spokesperson on behalf of Lorne Michaels said in a statement (via CNN). The spokesperson added that Gillis was hired based on his "impressive audition," but claimed showrunners were unaware of his "offensive, hurtful and unacceptable" prior remarks. "We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard."

In the now-viral video posted by reporter Seth Simons, Gillis was speaking on his Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast where he called Chinese people as "c***ks" and made fun of their accents. In other podcast appearances (via Daily Beast), Gillis referred to 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang as a "Jew c***k," and used homophobic and sexist slurs. 

How has Shane Gillis responded to being fired by SNL?

Before SNL's decision came down, Shane Gillis responded to the backlash by saying his comments were just jokes and should be taken as such. "I'm a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss," he tweeted. "If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you're going to find a lot of bad misses." He added, "I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said."

However, SNL pulled the plug on his job anyway. Gillis then addressed his firing by attempting another joke. "I'm a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can't be taken away" he tweeted. "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."