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.
The unearthing of these videos was especially disheartening as it overshadowed a win: comedian and SNL writer Bowen Yang will be the show's first Chinese-American cast member. Fortunately, the show has responded to the backlash and just announced that Gillis will no longer be joining the new cast.
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"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— Andrew Yang🧢🇺🇸 (@Andrew Yang🧢🇺🇸) 1568474379.0
On Sunday before SNL's announcement, Yang also tweeted that he didn't think the comedian should be fired.
"For the record, I do not think he should lose his job. We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human."
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But considering that Gillis' has still failed to offer any kind of substantive apology or express remorse, he definitely hasn't earned our forgiveness.
In response to losing his SNL spot, Gillis shared in a tweet, "I was always a mad tv guy anyway."
https://t.co/vN0htGMBVg— Shane Gillis (@Shane Gillis) 1568664699.0
Mad TV, come collect your man.
Photo via Getty