New ‘SNL’ Cast Member Shane Gillis Responds to Backlash Over Racial Slurs on Podcast

Shane Gillis
Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast

Saturday Night Live Season 45 is losing one of its cast, but it’s also bringing in three new comedians. But it seems they’re already having trouble with one of them just hours after he was announced.

On Thursday, freelance writer Seth Simons shared video of one of the new hires, Shane Gillis, using racist slurs in a conversation about Chinatown on “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast” from September 2018. The video has since been taken down by the user, but the clip remains on Twitter.

Bowen Yang, one of the other new hires, is the sketch comedy show’s first Asian cast member. Yang has also been a staff writer on Saturday Night Live since Season 44 and co-hosts the “Las Culturistas” podcast.

Furthermore, the co-owner of Good Good Comedy Theatre in Philadelphia, Kate Banford, told Vulture they “stopped working with him [Gillis] the past few years because of racist, homophobic, and sexist things he’s said on and offstage.”

After the video surfaced, Gillis posted a statement on Twitter. “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries,” he wrote. “I sometimes miss. 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,” he continued. “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”

Gillis was recognized at the 2019 Just for Laughs Festival as a New Face.

Saturday Night Live, Season 45 Premiere, Saturday, September 28, 11:30/10:30c, NBC