New Saturday Night Live cast member Shane Gillis has officially been fired from the series.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” an SNL spokesperson said in a statement on behalf of show creator Lorne Michaels.
“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,” the statement continued.
“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,” the statement reads. “We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
After SNL announced that Gillis was no longer a part of the cast, he released a statement of his own on Twitter, in which he said that he respects the show’s “decision.”
“It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are. I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away,” he said. “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.”
On Thursday, just hours after the comedy show revealed its newest stars, which includes Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, a clip from September 2018 posted to a YouTube channel called Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast began to circulate online.
“Chinatown’s f—— nuts,” Gillis says to Matt McCusker in the clip. “Let the f—— ch— live there,” he adds.
Gillis then continues to spew out insults when talking about eating at Chinese restaurants.
“The translation between you and the waiter is such a f—— hassle, I’m pointing at it,” he says in the clip. Gillis even mimics Chinese accents.
The clip immediately outraged SNL viewers and social media users with many of them calling for him to be fired. Ultimately, the backlash later prompted Gillis to address the issue on Twitter.
“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries,” he wrote. “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. 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 that requires risks.”
Season 45 of SNL premieres on Sept. 28 at 11 p.m. ET on NBC.