Saturday Night Live and its parent network NBC has announced that comedian Shane Gillis has been kicked off the show over his racist commentary against Asians.
The long-running sketch show’s creator Lorne Michaels broke his silence on Monday denouncing Gillis. This comes just days after the comedian was announced to join SNL’s 45th season along with Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman. Now, SNL has axed Gillis from the show amid the controversy.
Michaels’ spokesperson released a statement on Monday saying stand-up comic”will not be joining SNL.” The statement continued, “[w]e hired Shane on the strength of his talent as a comedian … We were not aware of his prior remarks … The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable.”
SNL then went on to apologize for failing to see the clips of Gillis and for their “vetting process” that “was not up to our standard.” In the aforementioned video, Gillis took multiple mean-spirited jabs towards the Asian community calling Chinese people “f*ckin ch*nks,” imitated a stereotypical accent and mocked Asians trying to learn the English language. Taking it a step further, he also had homophobic jokes to throw.
Multiple figures in the entertainment industry have since reacted to the surfaced clips. Actor Daniel Dae Kim took to Twitter pointing out that “It took 45 years for @SNL to get an East Asian cast member and in that same year he’ll be joined by someone who would have no problem calling him a “f*ckin’ ch*nk.”
“Gotta be a joke in there somewhere,” he adds.
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.