New York: NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” fired a cast member after video surfaced of him making offensive remarks, including a racial slur about Chinese people.
A representative for “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels announced the move on Monday, saying the decision was made after speaking to the comedian, Shane Gillis.
“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,” the representative said. “We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days.”
Gillis was named to the role on Thursday, one of three new cast members to join the late-night variety show for its 45th season, which starts Sept. 28. That same day, a video circulated online showing Gillis making a racial slur and mocking Chinese accents and Chinatown.
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 16, 2019
In his efforts to deal with the controversy last week, Gillis said he was a “comedian who pushed boundaries” and “I sometimes miss.” The response drew further rebuke on social media, and “SNL” apologized for not vetting Gillis more carefully.
“The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable,” according to Monday’s statement. “We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
In announcing the new cast members last week, the show also added Bowen Yang, its first Chinese-American member. Chloe Fineman is joining the show as well.
Gillis responded to his firing on Twitter, saying he respected the decision — then adding a final dig: “I was always a ‘Mad TV’ guy anyway.” – Bloomberg