Not long after the three new featured players for Saturday Night Live‘s upcoming 45th season were announced last week, reporters and other comedians began digging into the recent, problematic comments of Shane Gillis. A stand-up comedian who got his start in Philadelphia before moving to New York City, Gillis’ past (i.e. from 2018) racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks immediately made headlines. He released a brief statement commenting on the matter, though neither SNL nor NBC said anything — until today.
On Monday, a spokesperson for SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels told Variety that Gillis was out. “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” the statement began:
“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.”
Meanwhile, Gillis released his own statement on Twitter following Variety‘s report. “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away,” he said. “I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a MADtv guy anyway.”