Arts & Entertainment

SNL fires comedian for racist comments

By Sebastian Aguilar | Guest Writer

Photo courtesy of Variety.com

Comedian Shane Gillis was recently fired from Saturday Night Live just days after the sketch show announced they had cast him for the show’s 45th season. Management for SNL made the decision based on racist comments pertaining to Asian people and homophobic comments about other comedians both made on his podcast. Ironically they hired Gillis the same day the show hired their first Asian cast member Bowen Yang. A spokesperson for SNL said “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 standards.” Gillis responded to being fired by saying “I respect the decision they made, and am honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a MAD TV guy anyways.” Alluding to SNL’s former rival.

Many comedians have weighed in on Gillis being fired with some SNL veterans defending him and others saying that he deserved to be fired. Jim Jefferies from the Jim Jefferies show on Comedy Central said “The guy shouldn’t have been fired… I remember John Belushi dressed as an Asian man with a samurai sword, and that was the whole sketch. Are we gonna get rid of every sketch SNL has done that involves race?”

Comedian Andrew Schulz said on his own podcast that “it’s one thing when you make an offensive joke. As comics we can go “oh he’s obviously satirizing the situation and he’s making a joke” but what he did was just talk ‘edgy’ and there was no joke, there was nothing redeeming about it.”

While the world of comedy recovers from this recent controversy presidential candidate Andrew Yang has said that he’d like to sit down and have a chat with Gillis and talk about the recent controversy. Yang said that he doesn’t think that Gillis should have been removed from the show but that his comments were hurtful.

 In the days since Gillis was fired from SNL he has faced a large amount of backlash on social media. Gillis responded to his recent controversy in his first standup set since getting fired saying “I’m fine with the consequences but I do want everyone to know I am reading everyone of my death threats in an Asian accent”.