Shane Gillis is a brand new cast member on SNL.
But just days after this announcement went viral, folks around the Internet are now looking at some of the comedian’s past work and asking:
WHAT THE HELL?!?
Not long after Gillis was confirmed as one of three new faces on Saturday Night Live Season 45 (along with Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang), a video resurfaced of the rising engaging in racist rhetoric.
“Chinatown’s f-ckin nuts,” Gillis says in a clip from a September 2018 posted to a YouTube channel called Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast began to circulate online.
“Let the f-ckin ch-nks live there,” he adds.
Gillis then goes on to toss out insults when talking about eating at Chinese restaurants, complaining about such experiences as follows:
“The translation between you and the waiter is such a f–king hassle,” he tells fellow comedian Matt McCusker, doing a Chinese accent. “I’m pointing at it.”
The footage immediately outraged SNL viewers and social media users overall, with many of them calling for him to be fired before he even appeared on an episode.
“Bigotry and racism is unacceptable. Fire Shane Gillis,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“It’s not just that one video,” another user explained.
“New #SNL hire Shane Gillis has made a lot of ‘problematic’ comments and jokes over the past years. Will the show cancel him before he stars?”
So far, that answer is no. We haven’t heard anything from anyone associated with the long-running sketch show.
But the backlash eventually prompted Gillis to address the issue on Twitter.
“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries,” he wrote on Twitter, as you can see above.
“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.”
Not exactly a heartfelt mea culpa, huh?
Why is it that comedians think they are part of the one profession that is allowed to be offensive and cruel, simply because they’re trying to be funny?
Just be funny without being racist. It isn’t that difficult.
Gillis and the other additions came after Leslie Jones confirmed her departure on Twitter.
“Thank you for all the love and support through my SNL years and I know you will be as excited as I am when you see some of the amazing projects and adventures that I have coming up very soon!” she told fans in a lengthy statement on September 3. “Love you all!!”
Jones later added:
“I will miss working, creating and laughing with you.
“I will miss holding it down with Kenan [Thompson] everyday, I will miss [Cecily Strong’s] impression of me making me laugh at myself often, I will miss [Kate McKinnon’s] loving hugs and talks when I needed.
“And of course, Colin [Jost], you porcelain-skinned Ken doll. I will miss all my cast mates!!
“Especially being at the table reads with them!! Everyone needs to know Leslie Jones couldn’t have done any of the things I did without these people.”
Saturday Night Live premieres on NBC Saturday, September 28, at 11:30 p.m. EST.