Comedian Shane Gillis has been dropped from NBC’s Saturday Night Live following a social media mob’s backlash against him due to old jokes that many called racist.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” the show announced in a statement Monday.
“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 comedian and his impressive audition for SNL,” the statement reads. (RELATED: SNL Creator Lorne Michaels Sends Pete Davidson Away To Get Help Following Suicide Scare)
“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 standard.”
Shane Gillis is OUT at SNL. Per NBC: pic.twitter.com/NJJpLGABPp
— Andrew Chow (@andrewrchow) September 16, 2019
Gillis responded in his humorous way, saying, “Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself on SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a Mad TV guy anyway.”
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 16, 2019
The comedian, who was hired as a writer for SNL last week, was the subject of immediate controversy after clips of him using racial slurs circulated around the internet.
today SNL announced the hiring of its first cast member of East Asian descent, and also this guy pic.twitter.com/0FAGJZJUkK
— Seth Simons (@sasimons) September 12, 2019
Gillis initially issued a statement on social media about his remarks, writing, “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you got through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of misses. I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.”
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 13, 2019
However, his statement wasn’t enough to save his job at SNL.
The show has gotten political many times over the last year, with Pete Davidson mocking Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw over his war injury (and later apologizing), as well as Alec Baldwin’s over-the-top portrayal of President Donald Trump.