“Saturday Night Live” is cutting ties with recent new hire Shane Gillis. Gillis was one of three new cast members announced last week for the long-running NBC sketch comedy show’s upcoming 45th season.
Very quickly after, clips began circulating from Gillis’ podcasts and other media in which he repeatedly used racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language – even as recently as last year.
A spokesperson on behalf of Lorne Michaels says in a statement: “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL. 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 posted his own statement on Twitter: “It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are. I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away. Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a mad tv [sic] guy anyway.”