Apparently, “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) hired comedian Shane Gillis in order to rebut charges of liberal bias. Of course, that was before SNL fired him for making racist statements about Asian people on a podcast nearly one year ago.
According to a report in Variety, sources with NBC say that Gillis was hired to appeal to conservative viewers and help confront charges of anti-conservative bias.
“According to sources, the long-running NBC comedy show and series mastermind Lorne Michaels were actively looking to cast a comedian for its new season who would appeal to more conservative viewers,” reports Variety. “This was meant to counteract the appearance of a liberal bias on the show, given that it has seen a major resurgence in popularity in recent years with Alec Baldwin regularly portraying President Donald Trump while other cast members and guest stars have played members of his administration and those in his orbit.”
Sources claim that the Gillis fiasco will likely lead to a more extensive vetting process and actually presents a challenge to SNL in the near future. Previously, all “SNL” had to vet in a prospectively hired comedian’s past were statements, stand-up routines, and videos. Now, in the age of the internet, comedians regularly host podcasts and visit podcasts as guests, which means the show will need to do more digging before making a cast member official. Variety provided a rundown of the many racist, homophobic, and misogynistic statements he made in the past:
In a separate podcast, “Ep 144 — A.I. is Racist,” Gillis and McCusker make fun of Asian accents about 22 minutes and 20 seconds in, referring to the video game “Clash of Clans” as “Crash of Crans” in a mock Chinese accent.
A little more than 21 minutes into “Ep 146 — Live from Shane’s Parent’s Basement,” while talking about the Battle of Gettysburg, Gillis refers to soldiers yelling as “so gay.” About 29 minutes into the podcast, Gillis uses the word “retard,” and “f-ggot,” and shortly afterward he and McCusker joke about “hot Southern boys” being raped during the Civil War, comparing it to “having gay sex in jail.”
Gillis, in describing women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the war, refers to them as “flat chested f***ing b****[es].” He issued a statement last Thursday addressing the situation, writing in part, “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”
While Gillis apologized and pledged to do better, “SNL” still fired him, causing a split in the comedy community — some of whom feel that his departure is yet another example of cancel culture.
“As a former SNL cast member, I am sorry that you had the misfortune of being a cast member during this era of cultural unforgiveness where comedic misfires are subject to the intolerable inquisition of those who never risked bombing on stage themselves,” said comedian Rob Schneider.
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang also expressed forgiveness toward Gillis and stated that he did not want Gillis to be fired from SNL.