New SNL Cast Member Defends Use of Slurs: Comedy 'Requires Risks'
New 'SNL' Cast Member Defends Use of Slurs: Comedy 'Requires Risks'
And yeah, they're recent.
At the same time as Saturday Night Live hired its very first Asian American cast member, Bowen Yang (who is also gay!), they hired a guy with a lengthy and recent history of racist and homophobic jokes.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long after the new cast announcements for the internet to dig up dirt on Shane Gillis. But this dig was close to the surface.
In a podcast he used to co-host with Matt McCusker, Gillis can be heard calling Chinese people “chinks,” gay people “faggots,” and transgender women “ladyboys.”
None— nat towsen (@nat towsen) 1568323292
The main podcast episode that resurfaced was from September 2018, only one year ago. And according to Vulture, not only does online sleuthing show that this kind of homophobic and racist rhetoric was regularly a part of the podcast, but Gillis had deleted the entire YouTube channel that hosted the podcast prior to the SNL announcement.
So in theory, he knows something he did was wrong. But in practice, it sounds more like he just didn’t want to deal with the consequences of being called out.
“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries,” Gillis wrote on Twitter last night, and the world issued a collective groan.
“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.”
This fails on pretty much every level as a genuine apology, and it’s unfortunate that Yang’s historic casting has already been overshadowed by some straight white guy thinking that racism and homophobia is ~edgy.
But seeing how easy this all was to find, SNL likely already knew about Gillis’s “risk taking” comedy, or didn’t care enough to find out before hiring him, so it’s unlikely we’ll see any change of heart from them. And it’s obvious we’re not getting a change of heart from Gillis.