You know that "Why be racist when you could just be quiet?" t-shirt? Apparently Shane Gillis, the new (almost) Saturday Night Live cast member, has not seen that shirt. Just hours after he was named last week as a new member of SNL, videos surfaced of Gillis using racial slurs and making offensive remarks toward Chinese people on a podcast filmed in September 2018.
"After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL," a spokesperson for the show said in a statement.
"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."
People had a lot to say in the few days between when the videos came out and when Gillis was fired. Even 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang weighed in. Gillis responded to the initial backlash with a tweet that minimized his racist remarks to "bad misses" and "risks" that come with being a comedian.
To this, Yang replied cordially, "Shane - I prefer comedy that makes people think and doesn't take cheap shots. But I'm happy to sit down and talk with you if you'd like."
Shane - I prefer comedy that makes people think and doesn’t take cheap shots. But I’m happy to sit down and talk wi… https://t.co/3JVQnPI0wt