Shane Gillis has been fired from Saturday Night Live, just four days after his casting was announced. The embattled comedian, 31, faced backlash after a year-old clip surfaced in which he used a racial slur against Asians.
"After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL," an SNL spokesperson said on behalf of Lorne Michaels tells Yahoo Entertainment. "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 reacted to SNL's decision on social media. "I respect the decision they made," he wrote. "I'm honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a mad tv guy anyway."
Hours after it was revealed Gillis was joining the cast for Season 45, a 2018 YouTube video surfaced that showed him making offensive remarks. "Chinatown’s f***ing nuts. Let the f***ing c****s live there," Gillis said on Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast. The comment was especially damaging as along with Gillis, SNL announced the casting of Bowen Yang — its first Asian-American cast member.
Gillis addressed the controversy last week, calling the joke a "bad" miss. "I'm a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss," he said. "I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said."
News of Gillis's firing has drawn mixed reactions on social media.
SNL reversing its decision to hire Shane Gillis isn’t a triumph of cancel culture or political correctness or whatever else idiots will label it. It is the swift and appropriate rectification of a mistake.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) September 16, 2019
You didn't "get" SNL. Your name will never be on the opening credits, it will never be listed as a writer, your photo will never hang at 30Rock.
You are just a homophobic, misogynistic, racist who will be forgotten. Hope the door hits you on the way out.
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) September 16, 2019
I look forward to Shane Gillis’ new comedy special, R U TRIGGERED, CUCKFLAKE
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) September 16, 2019
Congratulations to everyone saying cancel culture isn't real on getting Shane Gillis fired.
— Bridget Phetasy (@BridgetPhetasy) September 16, 2019
— The Wonton Don (@DonnieDoesWorld) September 16, 2019
SNL premieres on Sat., Sept. 28 with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.
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