‘Saturday Night Live’ Has Not Addressed the Shane Gillis Controversy

Saturday Night Live Shane Gillis
Shane Gillis | (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest)

Saturday Night Live recently added three new cast members, Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang, and Shane Gillis. Yang is the third Asian cast member and is openly gay. However, his hiring was overshadowed by the controversial casting of Gillis. SNL has not commented on the controversy or Gillis’ employment status.

Shane Gillis expressed racist and homophobic views in the past

While many celebrated Yang’s casting, social media users found a video clip of Gillis expressing racist views on his podcast, “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.” In the clip, Gillis mocked Asian immigrants in New York City’s Chinatown by saying “Let the f*cking ch*nks live there.” He also mocked immigrants’ accents and speaking skills.

The clip immediately drew backlash on social media, with many lamenting how unfortunate it was that Yang’s casting was overshadowed by Gillis’ remarks.

“Woke up thinking about how great we have Bowen Yang on #SNL & pissed that Shane Gillis is triggering my childhood trauma w/his name-calling & accent mocking. Using centuries old stereotypes is not a ‘risk’ or ‘pushing boundaries.’ It’s just racist & lazy,” wrote Nancy Wang Yuen on Twitter.

The clip from the podcast was fairly recent and was from September 2018. While videos of the podcast are no longer available on the podcast’s YouTube channel, social media users still tracked down more of Gillis’ offensive comments online. Even recently, the comedian made racist, homophobic, and misogynistic comments.

Some people want ‘Saturday Night Live’ to fire Shane Gillis

After the video clip made its way to social media, many called for SNL to fire Gillis.

Mike Ryan from Uproxx tweeted, “I started covering SNL professionally in 2010 and I’ve had a strict rule I NEVER comment publicly about cast members’ future employment status because it didn’t seem fair. But Shane Gillis is now the exception. Completely unacceptable and he needs to be dismissed immediately.”

“As a comedian I usually side with the comedians on sensitive subjects. But this is just plain racist. Its truly disgusting. Standing up against this is just as important as supporting our Asian brothers and sisters. This man has to go @nbcsnl,” Jimmy O. Yang, known for his work in Silicon Valley, tweeted.

Shane Gillis issued a statement

After the clip went viral, Gillis released a statement on Twitter. The statement was not well received. Social media users condemned Gillis for not issuing a full apology and for referencing his racist comments as risky comedy.

“making a bad joke and sitting around with your friend just being casually racist are 2 very different things,” writer Priscilla Page tweeted in response.

‘Saturday Night Live’ has not commented on the controversy

While Gillis released a statement shortly after the controversy spread, SNL has still not released anything. The viral video first spread around social media on Thursday, Sept. 12. This means four days have passed without the show addressing the controversy. Gillis has also not tweeted since he released his statement on Sept. 12.