Comic Shane Gillis has been fired by “Saturday Night Live” without ever setting foot in front of the sketch-comedy show’s cameras.
Gillis, one of three new “Saturday Night Live” cast members announced Thursday by NBC, was immediately the focus of controversy over racist slurs — one, in particular, was aimed at Chinese people — that he used in recent podcasts.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” an NBC spokesperson said Monday in a statement on behalf of “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels.
“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 a 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.”
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Gillis also made a statement Monday, via Twitter.
“I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away,” Gillis said. “Of course I wanted the 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.”