Yesterday, Saturday Night Live announced their new cast members for their upcoming season. Among the names, was the first East Asian-American cast member in the show’s 45 year history, Bowen Yang. But the celebration quickly turned sour when it was revealed that fellow new cast member, Shane Gillis, had uttered racial slurs and other racist comments towards Asians on his podcast last year.
Gillis stated on his podcast, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, “Chinatown’s f—ing nuts.”
He continues, “let the f—ing ch-nks live there,” Later, he calls a restaurant being “full of f—ing Chinee [sic] in there.” A video of the clip is below.
It has also been discovered that Gillis has also used sexist and homophobic language as well. Variety reported the following:
“During the same podcast recording, Gillis comments that their conversation is “nice racism, good racism.”
In a separate podcast, “Ep 144 – A.I. is Racist,” Gillis and McCusker make fun of Asian accents about 22 minutes and 20 seconds in, referring to the video game “Clash of Clans” as “Crash of Crans” in a mock Chinese accent.
A little more than 21 minutes into “Ep 146 – Live from Shane’s Parent’s Basement,” while talking about the Battle of Gettysburg, Gillis refers to soldiers yelling as “so gay.” About 29 minutes into the podcast, Gillis uses the word “retard,” and “f-ggot,” and shortly afterward he and McCusker joke about “hot Southern boys” being raped during the Civil War, comparing it to “having gay sex in jail.”
Gillis, in describing women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the war, refers to them as “flat chested f—ing bitch[es].”
After the online furor erupted, Gillis posted an “apology” on social media. He stated,
Okay, so Shane Gillis can never step foot on the SNL stage. End of story. Far be it from me to criticize someone for pushing boundaries, I do that on a daily basis. But uttering racial slurs, hurling sexist insults, and homophobic hate speech is not boundary-pushing comedy, it’s hate speech. And the casual way that Gillis hurls them out is disturbing, to say the least. For Gillis to try to excuse it for the sake of comedy is an insult to comedians.
And don’t mistake Gillis’ statement as an actual apology. He’s not sorry for saying hateful things, he’s just willing to apologize to you if you’re offended. That’s not the sort of trash element that SNL needs and I’m the biggest critic of the show.
In a time when the show’s top stars are openly gay, women and now bringing the first East Asian-American to the cast, Gillis shouldn’t be afforded the privilege to be a part of that group. And if SNL sticks by him, that should tell you enough about where Lorne Michaels and the rest of the execs stand. I hope they’re smart and cut Gillis before he gets a chance to make 30 Rock his home.