Comedian Shane Gillis’ racist and homophobic not-so-distant past has finally caught up with him.
Last week, SNL announced Gillis would be joining the cast of the show’s 45th season, which premieres September 28. Then footage of Gillis calling Chinese people “f*cking ch*nks” and speaking in a stereotypical Asian accent, and bashing “white f*ggot comics” who are “f*cking gayer than ISIS” surfaced online.
Gillis quickly issued a non-apology, saying he was just joking and that his remarks were never meant to be taken seriously.
“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries,” Gillis said on Twitter. “I sometimes miss. I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.”
Then yesterday, SNL announced Gillis wouldn’t be joining the cast, after all.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” the NBC 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.”
The statement continued: “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.”
Shortly after that, Gillis responded by putting out another childish statement on Twitter, saying he thinks it’s “ridiculous” he has to say anything regarding his past racism and homophobia and adding that he always preferred MadTV over SNL anyway.
“I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get on SNL,” he quipped. “That can’t be taken away.”
Um, except that it was.
The responses to Gillis’ firing and his ensuing temper tantrum on Twitter have been mixed.
Some are throwing their full-fledged support behind Gillis:
— Nick DiPaolo (@NickDiPaolo) September 17, 2019
Shane Gillis is gonna have a sold-out bro tour and a million dollar payday Netflix special about how he is a brave truthteller silenced by cancel culture called Saturday Night Dead within the year, bet on it.
— Catherynne Valente (@catvalente) September 17, 2019
I mean they canceled straws. Shane Gillis didn’t have a chance.
— JohnMoses (@JohnMoses) September 17, 2019
What happened to Shane Gillis fucking sucks
It's funny to say fucked up things you don't believe
I'm Jewish, and I've heard plenty of comedians deny the Holocaust
They shouldn't be fired… but I would like to know how the gentiles found out we made that shit up
— Matt Maran (@REALMattMaran) September 17, 2019
— Luis J. Gomez (@luisjgomez) September 16, 2019
Many more, however, think SNL did the right thing by letting him go:
I am never one to celebrate or take joy over the misfortune of others, but Shane Gillis refused to show remorse for what was very evidently hate speech.
I’m glad @nbcSNL acted with authority and moral fibre.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) September 17, 2019
shane gillis defenders tweeting like being an snl cast member is a human right
— goth mothra (@acechhh) September 17, 2019
Racist trolls are extremely mad #ShaneGillis got fired. It wasn't a joke, it was a racist statement like others he's made before. The guy isn't edgy/pushing boundaries, he just sucks. P.S. MADtv was cancelled because it sucked too
— Max The Bear (@MaxDAWerePanda) September 17, 2019
Still waiting for someone outside of 40-year-old white guy stand-up to be mad about Shane Gillis
— Jensen Karp (@JensenKarp) September 17, 2019
It's funny because at least Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart had to work to become household names before people would defend their right to be offensive. Shane Gillis getting the same treatment and most of us just heard of that white man last week.
White privilege at work.
— M’BlockU (@rodimusprime) September 17, 2019
Just to be clear, Shane Gillis was fired because he couldn’t be bothered to even appear sincere while apologizing for using racial slurs, not just the slurs themselves.
Stop crying about cancel culture, he was give a chance and he blew it.
— Frankie Huang ? (@ourobororoboruo) September 17, 2019
Shane Gillis saying he was always more of a MAD TV guy, after getting fired by SNL is the funniest joke he ever told. And it's an approach I'm gonna take at the car dealership. When I get turned down for a loan on a Maserati, I'm gonna shrug, cuz I was always more of a Toyota guy
— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) September 17, 2019
Ok comedians, you can make your offensive jokes, it’s your right, but maybe it just ain’t what the people want anymore?? ???? #ShaneGillis
— Jane (@pootydoods) September 17, 2019
Shane Gillis’ comment of saying that he’s always been more of a Mad TV guy feels like the comic’s version of “you can’t fire me ‘cause I quit” #ShaneGillis
— Meredith (@meralee727) September 16, 2019
And then there was this guy:
Shane Gillis is ruining the good name of people with very similar names.
— Shane Gill (@_ShaneGill_) September 17, 2019