SNL’s new cast member Shane Gillis has a history of racism, sexism & homophobia

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This week, Saturday Night Live announced some new cast members for the season which will start on the last Saturday of this month. SNL lost some great cast members at the end of last season, and Leslie Jones only announced her SNL retirement a few weeks ago. So, SNL had some openings. They hired Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang and Shane Gillis. Bowen Yang is the first Asian-American SNL cast member, which… I didn’t really believe that he’s the FIRST?? Apparently, Fred Armisen is one-quarter Korean and Rob Schneider is one-quarter Filipino, so… Yang is the first non-mixed-race Asian cast member. Or something.

The conversation briefly centered around Yang and Asian representation and how people were like “seriously, it’s taken SNL THIS LONG?” And then people began doing basic research on Shane Gillis. Turns out he’s a f–king racist who used to do podcasts with his bros about how much he hates Chinatown and how funny it is to make fun of Chinese people (or “Ch-nks” as he and his bro calls them) with Chinese accents. This video is NSFW because of language and racism:

If you follow that thread, you’ll see that it’s not from some long-lost podcast from 30 years ago or whatever – that sh-t was last year. Ah, but we were so innocent in 2018, no one knew a thing about racism. Anyway, people were like “nope” and “fire him already, SNL.” So Shane Gillis decided to issue a statement:

“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.” Eat sh-t with that “I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said” bulls–t. He’s not f–king sorry. Fire this MAGA douche.

Also: Vulture has a story which does a deeper dive into – AGAIN – public statements Gillis has made in HIS OWN podcast (which he’s now deleted from YouTube), where he used homophobic slurs and mocked female comics. Vulture also spoke to sources in the Philadelphia comedy scene, where Gillis has worked for years. Kate Banford is co-owner of the Good Good Comedy Theatre and she said the theater “stopped working with him within the past few years because of racist, homophobic, and sexist things he’s said on and offstage.” His homophobia, racism and sexism was well-known among other comedians, and it really looks like SNL did not even do a bare-bones vetting process on this douche.

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47 Responses to “SNL’s new cast member Shane Gillis has a history of racism, sexism & homophobia”

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  1. mellie says:

    I really feel like SNL will do the right thing and fire him…I hope so anyway, that is just terrible!

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      I just tweeted this to NBC/SNL:

      ‪@nbcsnl. We have enough with the white nationalistic, homophobic, misogynistic POSs in Washington. We don’t need to see one on SNL! Fire Shane Gillis! JFC, Did you even do a preliminary vetting???‬

      More people need to flood social media with their protests.

      • MC2 says:

        Thanks for this post. I never tweet but I tweeted them this morning! And my hashtag was #imactuallyoffended. I will be waiting for his call to apologize….

      • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

        MC2, wish I’d remembered about using a hashtag 🤪. Their social media needs to be FLOODED!

    • Christine says:

      I feel like given today’s standards, there’s no excuse not to fire him. If this came out 5 years ago I would say SNL would buckle down but they’ve had their fair share of problems/controversies the past few years. If they were smart they would realize this is not worth the risk. There’s a difference between being edgy and offensive.

  2. Esmom says:

    Okay. Comedy club stops working with the guy because he’s so offensive and he…lands a gig at SNL. If this isn’t the era of horrible people failing up, I don’t know what is.

    • GirlMonday says:

      It reminds me of that episode of The Good Place when Sean says “Why do you think I chose to be a middle-aged white man? . . . I can oy fail up.”

  3. BlueSky says:

    Oh they vetted him alright…white, straight, male…you’re hired!

    I wonder if this has anything to do with Leslie Jones deciding to leave???

  4. Shannon says:

    Dear Lord. Another bland white dude AND with this background?! Thank you, next. Also, I appreciate that one-quarter counts. I get so tired of hearing “You can’t count SWEDISH” and I’m like, bish, the only grandmother I know is Swedish and if you grew up with as much Swedish decor and meatballs as I did, yes it counts. Yes, Swedish meatballs are a legit thing with Swede-Americans, but they have to be. Good luck finding pickled herring or lingonberries (at least in my neck of the woods LOL)

    • Betsy says:

      Come up Minnesota way. We have all the Scan foods covered at Ingebretsen’s (and a dozen other places).

      • Shannon says:

        Girl, that’s what my (other) best friend AND my grandmother keep telling me. I’m leaning towards it LOL

      • Original Jenns says:

        As a Minnesotan, and also someone inheriting some Scandinavian DNA, can confirm!

        Also, I feel like there was an Asian man on SNL a long time ago, maybe 80s, early 90s? Perhaps he wasn’t a full time cast member? Or I’m just remembering wrong. Either way, it’s sad that this has to be a big deal, you know, basic representation of a large population.

        And on this new hire and his statement? Of course. In this country in this day and age, of course. Not surprised and not expecting better.

  5. Shannon says:

    Here again to say, WTF SNL? Nope, no, ALL the no. I have relied on them for comic relief during these T**** years. But holy hell NO.

  6. Izzy says:

    Ah yes, the old “but it’s all for my ART” excuse

  7. Lizzie says:

    these people keep using this boundary pushing to explain their racist “comedy” but they are forgetting that the main tenant of comedy is TO BE FUNNNNNYYYYYYYYY, people aren’t policing “comedy” they policing unfunny hacks who hide behind a legitimate form of art to lazily punch down with racist, sexist BS that only the most simple of simpletons find amusing.

    • Betsy says:

      That’s putting it very well!

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      There are always people trying to spin copying the bigotry of their problematic ancestors as originality, or bravely thinking for themselves. It’s the opposite.

    • Kate says:

      Thank you! First off I could barely understand him he was mumbling so much but what I could make out was to the effect of hey isn’t it annoying when there’s a language barrier? And then complaining about a type of cuisine they eat but don’t like. Really groundbreaking art there. Please direct me to a link for your next comedy tour.

  8. notpretentious says:

    “If this isn’t the era of horrible people failing up, I don’t know what is.”

    My sentiments exactly Esmom. He said all that racist crap on VIDEO, and the context was obvious! There was no joke, they are expressing terrible racism against Asians. Wow. Fire that guy today!

  9. JanetFerber says:

    Yes, Esmom, so true for this whole era.

  10. Who ARE These People? says:

    Hell yes, people are “actually” offended – and hurt, and threatened, and placed more at risk of discrimination and violent harm – by his lazy and cheap bigotry. That he doesn’t understand what goes into real humor means he’s also stupid.

    SNL is not what it used to be. And maybe they are glad the gates are open again for this crap.

  11. Betsy says:

    Last year he did this, LAST YEAR. I’m not inclined to listen but I believe the posters on here who say his bits weren’t even funny, just racism with a thin veneer of “comedy” as a defense.

  12. Krakken says:

    Being an unfunny racist dude bro for cheap laughs from your fellow whites is the opposite of pushing boundaries. This guy claims otherwise. Fire him already. I won’t be watching.

  13. grabbyhands says:

    Unfortunately, this is pretty much SNL’s standard MO, so I’m not shocked.

    But I swear, if I hear one more “comedian” hide under the lame excuse of “I’m a comedian that pushes boundaries, people are just too sensitive” I’m going to scream.

    There is a big difference between using humor to expose and laugh at difficult subjects and say, using racist language in your podcasts to poke fun at a specific minority group. But people like this know they have fertile ground to play on, particularly these days. I’m willing to bet there’s a MAGA hat somewhere in his closet.

  14. manda says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying I’m shocked, but wow, what an unfunny and shocking conversation on something as banal as chinatown. This guy is a serious POS

  15. DahliaDee says:

    What a shocking surprise. /s

  16. Savannah says:

    News flash white dude: If you can’t be funny without keeping up with society and basic human values, but are always “pushing boundaries” and “taking risk” you’re not that funny.

    Go back home redneck!

    See what I did there?

  17. Ms. X Writer says:

    I *so* love this line from these MAGA douche bros: “I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.” Oh PLEASE. Just say straight-up that you ‘push boundaries & take risks’ & leave it at. Why add in a not-sorry-but-sorry? Oh, ’cause you hope the folks who are your target audience will accept those words & defend you on the Twitter? “Hey, dude said he was SORRY, man! SNL is cool with him – leave him alone, let him continue to *push boundaries* & “make mistakes’!” Yeah, SNL being ‘cool” w/him is the issue within the core issue, if that makes sense.

  18. GR says:

    I’m old enough to have occasionally watched snl since it premiered in the 70s, and it’s just returning to its bigoted, misogynist roots. This started last year with jost and che in charge of the writers’ room.
    Shame – they were so funny for a couple of years.

    • lucy2 says:

      They still have some really talented performers too, mostly the women, but the writing needs some new voices.

      I know I shouldn’t be surprised at this, but I am – do they not know how to use the internet and check this guy’s history, or do they just not care? Or is this some cheap ploy for media attention and then a pat on the back if/when they fire the guy?

    • Carol says:

      It’s hard to watch SNL now anyway because it’s so unfunny. Sometimes they will produce couple of funny nuggets but the rest is crap. I miss the Tina Fey days where the skits were smart but also sometimes stupidly silly – but always funny.

  19. Adrien says:

    I’ve met Rob’s mom (who’s so nice, btw) and she’s 100% Filipino so he’s half Asian not just a quarter. His earlier standup material was all about being a guy raised as a Jewish-Catholic Pinoy, like a Pinoy Margaret Cho. I’m surprised people are saying he identifies himself as white. Sure he played different racial stereotypes in movies, he has a very white daughter (who’s talented singer Elle King) but that does not make him less Asian.

  20. L4frimaire says:

    This is SNL always wanting some frat boy type, chasing the next Chris Farley or Belushi. No one needs this disgusting bigoted behavior. Really disgusted. They really needed to hire this proudly racist douche?

  21. Sassbr says:

    Before the story broke about his offensive statements, I watched a little of his stand up to see what he was about. Like I watched the girl do impressions, makes sense, they’re going to lose McKinnon after next season, there’s always room for a girl who does impressions, and they hired the Asian writer out of the room-makes sense, they promote writers often, he promotes diversity, and he is hilarious on twitter and his sketches have been great-but why this bland-looking white dude? Is he a Taran Killam type? And no, he’s just a stand up, and he’s not funny. He’s just a bland white guy who illicited chuckles, but at no point did I see how this guy could go into an SNL audition and present anything that could get him hired. He wasn’t even controversial. Then the story about his shitty “risky” humor on podcast broke and I’m like, how how how did this guy get hired?????? It makes ZERO SENSE.

  22. ME says:

    Come on you really think SNL didn’t do a background check on this guy first? They knew it would get people talking. This is what so many people/companies do now a days. It’s the easiest way to get attention.

  23. Taryn says:

    Word to the wise, you can push boundaries in comedy and take risks without using the work ch***. You can be funny and not be a racist, it’s not that hard. I’m tired of white male comedians using comedy to be blatantly offensive and then having the nerve to say, hey thats comedy. No it’s your bad attempt at being covertly racist and using minorities and their very real and threatened lives to get some laughs with the frat boys. Learn how to actually be funny.

    • Suz says:

      This. So, a couple of years ago, I attempted to watch Eddie Murphy’s Raw. I remember that being a big thing when I was a little kid in the 80s – like my parents made us go to bed and said they were going to watch it. Within the first few minutes, I cannot even tell you how many times he used the word fa**ot. It wasn’t at all funny. Come to think of it, I also remember my parents telling me they turned it off within the first five minutes because it was so bad. If you have to use homophobia in your act, you’re not funny, you’re just an a**hole.

  24. prettypersuasion says:

    I think Lorne Michaels knew about this and it’s why he was hired. To appeal to that white nationalist bro type. He comes w/ a fanbase on reddit and everything.

  25. Cay says:

    Doubtful that Lorne Michaels cares if this guy is racist/sexist/homophobic. Lorne Michaels isn’t known for being someone who has broken barriers down for minorities.

  26. Tess says:

    Ok first, he must suck as a comedian if he’s admitting that so much of his stuff misses the mark. Why hire an admittedly bad comedian? Second, Margaret Cho has been around since the 90’s and MadTV had Bobby Lee back in the 2000’s, and it’s almost freaking 2020. “SNL hires first Asian” is almost fake sounding and yet wow.

  27. JM says:

    WTF is wrong with Lorne Michaels hiring this Deplorable? It’s time for both of these men to go.

  28. kerwood says:

    Gee, what a shock. Somebody practically had to pull a gun on them to get them to hire Black women, one of whom turned out to be one the best cast members in years.

    I’ve always been amazed how mediocre White folks (usually men, but still) can fail up without even breaking a sweat. So why are guys like this always so pissed off?

  29. TashaK says:

    Somebody please explain to me how using racial slurs, denigrating the language, cuisine and architecture of a culture is “edgy.” It’s just not a valid excuse. I don’t understand what SNL could possibly do with this guy.

  30. Suz says:

    This is the most relentlessly, ploddingly predictable and unfunny banter that I have ever heard. In fact, this is not banter; it’s unintelligible mumbling between two grown men who are too slow-witted to riff off of one another. It’s not surprising that they can’t distinguish oafish recitation of racist tropes from satire. And how ironic that one of these clods almost got a job on SNL — exhibit A for the proposition that white, straight men have a much lower bar to clear In this country than pretty much everyone else. Yuk.