Comic Shane Gillis will not join the cast of the new season of Saturday Night Life as previously announced. Producers for the show have cited homophobic and racist remarks made by Gillis during a podcast last year.
“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 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.”
Gillis came under fire after comments he made on a Mike and Shane’s Secret Podcast came to light last week. In one video from 2018, the comic quips that “Chinatown’s fu*king nuts. Let the fu*king ch—s live there.” In another broadcast, he refers to comedians like Judd Apatow as “white f*ggot comics” and “fu*king gayer than ISIS.”
Gillis took to Twitter to plead his mea culpa:
“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries,” he tweeted. “I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of bad misses. I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”
Gillis is just the latest in a series of comics under fire for a history of homophobic remarks, following in the likes of Kevin Hart, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman. He was slated to make his SNL debut when the show returns for a new season September 28.