Saturday Night Live on Monday announced that it will no longer bring Shane Gillis aboard as a new cast member for its 45th season, after unearthed video showed him making overtly racist jokes.
"After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL. 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," the NBC show said in a statement.
"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 voting process was not up to our standard."
Gillis appeared to take his premature firing in jest, and without apology. "It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements, but here we are," he wrote after the news broke on Twitter Monday. "I'm a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can't be taken away... I was always a mad tv guy anyway."
Gillis' hiring was announced last week, along with comedians Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, who will become the first East Asian cast member in the show's history. Soon after the announcement-and despite Gillis deleting all of the videos from his podcast's YouTube channel and all but the most recent episodes from the internet-multiple clips and videos emerged of him making racist and sexist comments.
A September 2018 episode of "Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast," which Gillis co-hosts with fellow comic Matt McCusker, shows the comedian mocking Asians. "Damn, Chinatown is fucking nuts," Gillis says in the clip, before adding, "Let the fucking chinks live there." Gillis and McCusker then mock Asian accents and complain about the "fucking hassle" of ordering food from someone who doesn't speak English well.
Gillis later issued a statement about his remarks on Twitter, writing: "I'm a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss... I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said."
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