New ‘SNL’ Cast Member Shane Gillis Says He Used Racist Slurs Because He ‘Pushes Boundaries’
Saturday Night Live announced three new cast members for its 45th season this week, including Bowen Yang, the show’s first-ever star of East Asian descent. In one of the great examples of cognitive dissonance of the 21st century, the new hires also included Shane Gillis, whose podcast, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, includes stuff like this:
This footage was recorded just one year ago — as noted by Variety, it is part of a history of “racist, sexist, homophobic remarks” by Gillis. Their article outlines examples of numerous slurs used by Gillis to describe various group. I’m not sure what’s shocking: Gillis’ jokes or the fact that apparently Saturday Night Live does not look through potential new hires’ YouTube channels to see if they’ve published potentially offensive material.
After the footage of Gillis’ racist jokes resurfaced on Twitter, Gillis posted this comment to his own Twitter account. He claims he is “happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended” by his remarks — although he does not actually apologize. Instead, he says he’s a “comedian who pushes boundaries” which “requires risks.”
I’m actually all for boundary pushing comedy. That’s an important role of comedy in any society. But I watched that clip of Gillis, and I didn’t feel like I was watching boundary pushing; I felt like I was watching some bad racist jokes. That this is the caliber of candidate that can get hired by SNL is mighty depressing.
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