Saturday Night Live added a handful of new additions to the cast of its upcoming 45th season just last week, but when video and audio recordings surfaced of one of the new cast members, Shane Gillis, using racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language, there was an immediate outcry. Saturday Night Live has now taken action as they’ve announced that they’ve officially cut ties with Shane Gillis.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” an SNL spokesperson said on behalf of Lorne Michaels. “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.” Prior to this, Shane Gillis had attempted to address the controversy, saying “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.” Following his firing, Gillis posted his own statement on Twitter:
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. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a Mad TV guy anyway.
Shortest Saturday Night Live gig ever? The 45th season of SNL will kick off on September 28th with Woody Harrelson hosting accompanied by musical guest Billie Eilish, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge/Taylor Swift on October 5th, David Harbour/Camila Cabella on October 12th, Kristen Stewart on November 2nd, and Eddie Murphy on December 21st.