Comedian Shane Gillis will no longer be joining the cast of Saturday Night Live in the show’s upcoming 45th season. Gillis was among three new “featured players” announced earlier in September, alongside Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman. Gillis’ casting quickly drew heavy criticism stemming from several podcast clips featuring Gillis making insensitive jokes and using racial and homophobic slurs.
A spokesperson for SNL producer Lorne Michaels released the following statement online:
“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 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 quickly tweeted a response to the news, saying, “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.” He followed that up by noting “I was always a mad tv guy anyway.”
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 16, 2019