New SNL cast member hit by racism row | Shane Gillis used offensive language in a 2018 podcast

New SNL cast member hit by racism row

Shane Gillis used offensive language in a 2018 podcast

A new Saturday Night Live cast member has been blasted for a racist comment just hours after joining the show.

Stand-up Shane Gillis was yesterday named as one of three comedians joining the long-running NBC variety programme.

But almost immediately it emerged that he had used a racial slur in a podcast and YouTube video first posted a year ago.

In a segment of the now-deleted episode of Matt And Shane’s Secret Podcast, Gillis says to co-host Matt McCusker: ‘Chinatown’s fucking nuts. Let the fucking chinks live there.’

The context was him imagining the thought process behind how the district came into existence.

After freelance writer Seth Simons unearthed the clip, New-York-based Gillis was quick to apologise.

He tweeted: ‘I'm a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. 

‘If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you're going to find a lot of bad misses. I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said. 

‘My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.’

The new cast members announced yesterday also includes SNL’s first Asian-American cast member, Bowen Yang, previously a writer on the show.

Simons revealed he received a backlash for blowing the whistle on Gillis, tweeting: ‘seems like a lot of comics don’t care about racism. but on the other hand they also don’t care about sexual assault

Chloe Fineman, is a veteran of Los Angeles' Groundlings comedy troupe, as the third new member.

Although three people are joining the cast, the only departing member is Lesley Jones, stepping down after five years to concentrate on movie projects and a Netflix comedy special.

The new season of SNL starts on September 28, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Eddie Murphy among the guest hosts.

Published: 13 Sep 2019

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