‘SNL’ fires new cast member after video surfaces of comedian using Asian slur

Entertainment

This photo released by NBC shows Shane Gillis who was to join the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” premiering its 45th season on Sept. 28. “Saturday Night Live” rescinded its invitation to Gillis who posted a video last year in which he used a racial slur for Chinese people and derided Asians trying to learn English. (Phil Provencio/NBC via AP)

NEW YORK (WFLA) – “Saturday Night Live” has dropped one of its newest cast members just days after announcing he would join the upcoming season.

Shane Gillis was announced last week as one of three new cast members that would join NBC’s long-running comedy show.

Just hours later, videos circulated on social media of Gillis using an Asian slur and making homophobic comments. The comments were made during an episode of a podcast Gillis was part of called “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.”

According to NBC News, a statement was released on behalf of “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels on Monday saying the show would not be moving forward with Gillis for Season 45.

“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 a comedian and his impressive audition for SNL,” the statement 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.”

The statement also offered an apology to viewers for the show’s vetting process.

Gillis tweeted a statement following the news, saying, “Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction.”

Gillis had previously issued a statement when his comments first came under fire with news of his hiring.

According to NBC News, the video that circulated on Twitter showed Gillis using a derogatory word for Chinese people while talking about Chinatown.

“I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said,” that statement 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.”

Two other cast members are set to join “SNL” when it returns Sept. 28. Chloe Fineman will be part of the cast along with Bowen Yang, the show’s first Asian cast member.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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