The Firing Of Shane Gillis From ‘SNL’ Isn’t Eliciting Much Sympathy From Fans

Late Monday afternoon, a spokesperson for Lorne Michaels announced that Saturday Night Live would be cutting ties with new hire Shane Gillis, who was previously announced to be joining the upcoming season 45 cast along comedians Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang as featured players. However shortly after the news was announced, recent podcasts from 2018 surfaced in which Gillis could be heard making sexist, homophobic, and racist remarks (targeting Chinatown and Asians, in particular) leaving people outraged.

Likewise, those familiar with Gillis in the Philadelphia comedy scene corroborated a history of those type of offensive remarks onstage and off, which eventually led to his banning from the city’s Good Good Comedy Theatre.

As with his initial non-apologetic “sorry to anyone who took offense” strategy, Gillis appeared stubbornly unrepentant in his own statement on Twitter over the decision, starting off by claiming that it was “ridiculous” for a comedian to have to do so in the first place.

“I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away,” he added. “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 [sic] guy anyway.”

Not surprisingly, his statement did not go over spectacularly well online, as people were quick to celebrate NBC’s decision.

But at least a few people game to the defense of Gillis:

Perhaps therein lies the problem. Whereas being offensive maybe used to constitute a comedy act, by 2018 we had evolved to a point in society that throwing around slurs was no longer acceptable, under really any circumstances. If being banned by a comedy club didn’t tip that off to him, it seems unlikely that being fired from SNL will, either.