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Film and TV

Comedian who made seriously vile anti-gay slurs fired from SNL after less than a week

Lily Wakefield September 17, 2019
Shane Gillis fired from SNL

Shane Gillis was fired from SNL, days after being hired. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest)

Comedian Shane Gillis has been fired from Saturday Night Live (SNL) over racist, sexist and homophobic comments he made last year.

Gillis, 31, made the comments in a 2018 episode of his podcast with Matt McCusker, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, in which they ranked minorities in a “hierarchy of stand up comedy”.

Among many offensive slurs, the pair call male comedians who talk about mental health “white faggot comics” and “f***ing gayer than Isis”, sexualise transgender people and call trans sex workers “ladyboys”, and imitate the accents of Chinese immigrants, who they describe as “f***ing c***ks”.

The move comes less than a week after Gillis was hired.

A show spokesperson said in a statement on behalf of creator Lorne Michaels: “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL.

“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.

“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.”

Gillis posted a statement on Twitter yesterday, which read: “It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are.

“I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away.

“Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made.”

Many users slammed the statement, saying it proved that Gillis was not taking responsibility for what he’d done wrong.

One said: “Even in these statements, notice how Gillis never acknowledges or sincerely apologises for the use of racial slurs, or express empathy towards the minority it was directed to. It’s all about how HE was the victim, things were taken away from HIM.”

Another added: “It was taken away. Because white supremacy isn’t funny and never was. Deal with it.”

When the podcast episode first resurfaced, Gillis was also slammed for his non-apology in which he said his comments were “pushing boundaries” and “taking risks”.

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

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