Comedian Shane Gillis has been dropped as a new addition to Saturday Night Live, after footage surfaced of him making racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments.
The 31-year-old comic was named as one of three new additions to NBC’s iconic comedy show last week, alongside Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang.
But after the announcement, audio from an old podcast saw Gillis making a slew of offensive jokes.
While Gillis subsequent and claimed to be “a comedian who pushes boundaries”, the long-running comedy show has decided that Gillis won’t be joining after all.
A spokesperson for SNL boss Lorne Michaels said: “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 … We were not aware of his prior remarks.
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 16, 2019
“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 standard.”
One of Gillis’ supporters came in Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, who thought he should not be fired despite Gillis branding him a “Jew chink”.
Yang added that America would “benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive” and said he would be “happy to sit down and talk” with Gillis.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Gillis said: ““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.”