Shane Gillis Removed From ‘Saturday Night Live’ Cast Over Racist Remarks
One of the new members of the Saturday Night Live cast has now broken the record for the shortest tenure with the show in history: Zero episodes.
Shane Gillis was announced last week as one of three new comedians joining the late-night comedy series. But shortly after Gillis’ name was revealed, another comedian posted clips from Gillis’ work that contained shocking racism and homophobia. The material wasn’t ancient footage unearthed from old VHS tapes; they were podcasts recorded barely a year ago.
Despite the comments, NBC and SNL made no announcements about Gillis’ fate until just now, providing a statement to the press revealing that Gillis will no longer be part of SNL’s upcoming 45th season. It reads:
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 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.
I’m most curious about the latter part of that statement. How did Gillis’ comments, which were seemingly not very hard to track down, or all that unusual in his career, slip through the cracks? There are gray areas in comedy, and certainly not everyone is offended by the same things. These jokes were not in that area. It seems impossible he made it to this point without someone in authority not finding this stuff.
Gillis posted this statement in response to his dismissal from SNL, saying “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away”:
Saturday Night Live premieres on September 28 with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.
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