“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” the statement read. “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 responded to the news with his own statement: “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.”
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 16, 2019
Gillis was named a new SNL cast member last week, but soon after the announcement, prior comments of his resurfaced, in which he made racist, homophobic and sexist remarks on several podcast episodes, some of which were as recent as May of this year. Gillis issued a statement at the time, saying, “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.”
Saturday Night Live returns September 28th, with new cast members Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang.