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SNL comedian gives the absolute worst apology for anti-gay slurs

Emma Powys Maurice September 13, 2019

Saturday Night Live has come under fire for hiring Shane Gillis, a comedian with a history of racist and homophobic comments (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty)

Saturday Night Live‘s new cast member Shane Gillis gave the worst ‘apology’ to those accusing him of racism, sexism and homophobia.

Gillis, 31, made the offensive comments in a 2018 episode of his podcast, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast

He tried to delete a particularly offensive episode from the internet, but a recording on YouTube resurfaced hours after SNL announced him as their new hire.

The episode features Gillis and his co-host Matt McCusker ranking minorities in “the hierarchy of stand up comedy”. The 20-minute clip is riddled with racist and anti-gay slurs, and the use of the word “gay” as a pejorative.

The pair also sexualise transgender people and express disgust at trans sex workers, who they call “ladyboys.”

They state that white women are the least funny group of people, with gay men being the second un-funniest. They poke fun at Chinese immigrants, who they describe as “f*cking ch*nks” and imitate their accents.

The men then mock the US comic Hasan Minhaj by doing a camp impression of him, call him a “pussy” and a “lesbian”, and discuss whether he’s ever had sex with a man.

Male comedians who talk about mental health are described as “white faggot comics” and “f***ing gayer than Isis”. Gillis claims that to succeed as a comic requires a lot of “d**k-sucking”.

The highly inappropriate comments attracted significant attention on social media as they emerged just as SNL announced its first cast member from an Asian background, Bowen Yang, who is also gay.

The backlash on social media was swift. LGBT+ journalist Alex Berg wrote: “Shane Gillis made racist, homophobic and sexist statements on his podcast as recently as LAST SEPTEMBER. A Philly-based comedy theatre even stopped working with him in the last few years because of his remarks. SNL, why tho?!”

Asian American actress Cindy Chu added: “If you’re a comic & you think calling Chinese ppl ch*nks is funny, you’re a hack AND a racist… For every untalented Shane Gillis there are hundreds of talented Bowen Yangs who have had to fight tooth & nail.”

Vulture noted Gillis has long used racist, homophobic and sexist material in his stand-up performances. “It all raises the question: Did Saturday Night Live vet its new cast members? It’s 2019, so at this point, there’s really no excuse for this kind of slip-up.”

On Thursday, September 12, Gillis responded to the criticism in a statement that falls far short of an actual apology.

He wrote: “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 apologise to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.

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

Film producer Malory Yu responded: “You know, Shane Gillis has made me see the light. I get it now!! It was risk-taking COMEDY when a white man hollered ‘ch*nk’ at me through his car window when I walked home from school!!! I’ll be sure to laugh next time, I promise.”

 

 

More: Anti-gay, comedy, saturday night live, shane gillis, SNL

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