On Monday, comedians Bill Burr and Jim Jefferies reacted to NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” firing newly-named cast member Shane Gillis for past offensive jokes. The duo ripped into so-called “cancel culture” and questioned if “SNL” was going to retract past skits that would be deemed offensive in 2019.
“This is just ‘cancel culture,’ the guy shouldn’t have been fired,” Jefferies told “Lights Out with David Spade” host David Spade. Spade refrained from commenting because he’s an alum of the sketch show.
“It’s just a couple things back in history. Are we gonna go back in everyone’s history?” continued Jefferies. “Are we gonna get rid of every sketch that ‘SNL’ has done that involves race? I remember (former ‘SNL’ cast member) John Belushi dressing as an Asian man with a Samurai sword; that was the whole sketch.”
Burr weighed in, asking why folks boil your life down to a few moments, only “looking for the bad stuff.”
“Do they go back and also try to look at good things that the person might have done, or are they just looking for the bad stuff?” he asked. Burr then imitated a random journalist “scrolling through” a person’s past deeds. “‘Help cat out of a tree’ — that’s not it,” Burr mocked. ‘Help grandmother walk across the street’ — that’s not it. ‘Said something on a podcast’ — there it is!”
“We’re not running for office! When is this gonna f***ing end? F***ing millennials, you’re a buncha rats! All of ya! None of them care, all they wanna do is get people in trouble,” the comedian ripped.
Spade waded into the shallow waters of the controversy, noting that when people used to get hired by “SNL,” their first move “wasn’t to rifle through your past to make sure you get fired right away.”
“If you go back 15 years into somebody’s life, someone should then go back 15 years into your life,” Burr chimed in again. “‘Hey we went back and found out he was a human being, he f***ed up.’ I don’t understand.”
As previously covered by The Daily Wire, journalists dug up commentary made by Gillis on a podcast called “Matthew and Shane’s Secret Podcast” — his project with fellow comedian Matt McCusker, wherein Gillis used a stereotypical mocking Asian voice and made fun of Democratic candidate and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, referring to him as a “Jew chink.” In another episode, according to The New York Times, Gillis “used homophobic slurs to describe Judd Apatow, the comedy filmmaker and producer, and the comedian Chris Gethard.”
Gillis was canned from “SNL” on Monday.
Burr and Jefferies aren’t the only comedians to speak out against the firing. Former “SNL” cast member Norm Macdonald captioned a report on Gillis’ firing: “Of course you know, this means WAR.” He appealed directly to Gillis in another social media post. “Hey, Shane, I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine how you must feel. The work it takes to get that show and to have it snatched away by some guy who does ‘Spoken Bird’ poetry,” he wrote, referring to Seth Simons, the journalist who posted past offensive jokes from Gillis that sparked the outrage campaign. “Unacceptable. Please DM me, pal, when you have a moment. I’m so sorry.”