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SNL allegedly hired anti-gay comedian to appeal to right-wing viewers

Nick Duffy September 19, 2019
Shane Gillis performs onstage at the 2019 Clusterfest on June 21, 2019 in San Francisco, California.

Shane Gillis performs onstage at the 2019 Clusterfest on June 21, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest)

Comedian Shane Gillis was allegedly hired by Saturday Night Live (SNL) in a bid to appeal to conservatives, before being immediately sacked over racist and homophobic comments.

Gillis was announced as part of the new SNL cast on September 12, but was dropped from the show just days later after resurfaced comments in which he used anti-LGBT slurs and racist language.

The comedian had raged about “white faggot comics” who are  “f***ing gayer than Isis” in a 2018 episode of his podcast, and also described Chinese immigrants as “f**king c**nks”.

He drew more anger when he responded: “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.”

SNL wanted to ‘counteract liberal bias’.

According to Varietythe decision to hire Gillis was taken because SNL creator Lorne Michaels had been searching for a right-wing figure to “counteract the appearance of liberal bias” on the show.

The outlet reports that the show’s vetting process was “severely lacking”, with Gillis well-known for his use of slurs on the comedy circuit.

Shane Gillis performs onstage at the 2019 Clusterfest on June 21, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Shane Gillis performs onstage at the 2019 Clusterfest on June 21, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest)

In a statement after his sacking, Gillis said: “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.

“I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a Mad TV guy anyway.”

Saturday Night Live sorry for poor vetting process.

An SNL spokesperson said: “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.

“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.”

More: Gay, LGBT, saturday night live, shane gillis, SNL

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