SNL announced three new cast members on Thursday, including the first Asian cast member Bowen Yang., who is also gay.
Shortly after the announcement, a racist and homophobic segment featuring another of SNL’s hires, Shane Gillis, began surfacing on social media. In the clip, Gillis speaks with Matt McCusker on an episode of their podcast, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.
In the clip, Gillis and McCusker call Chinese people “chinks”, imitate Asian people speaking, and mock Chinese restaurants.
In another September 2018 podcast, Gillis and McCusker, referred to other comics as “faggots”, used gay as a pejorative, and made other slurs, Vulture reports: “In the below clip from another episode, around the 12:00 mark, Gillis and McCusker chat about comedians who adopt a more confessional style, like Judd Apatow and Chris Gethard, and mock them using homophobic slurs, calling them ‘white f*ggot comics’ and “fucking gayer than ISIS.” Earlier in the clip, around 2:20, the co-hosts rank how funny comedians are by race, gender, and sexual orientation. “White chicks are literally the bottom,” Gillis says. “Ali Wong is making it so Asian chicks are funnier than white chicks.”
Adds Vulture: “Gillis clearly put some effort into scraping his history from the internet beforehand, there’s an entire subreddit dedicated to his podcast that’s filled with homophobic slurs, even against current SNL writers, and it’s very easy to find on Google.”
Gillis apologized, tweeting: “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. 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. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”