Saturday Night Live has given in to the new world order of political correctness by announcing the firing of comedian Shane Gillis for past jokes some deemed offensive.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” a statement from a SNL spokesperson stated, according to CNN.
The offensive content stems from a podcast Gillis appeared on in September of 2018 called “Matthew and Shane’s Secret Podcast, a collective between Gillis and comedian friend Mathhew McCusker. In one particular episode, Gillis and McCusker used sterotypical Asian accents in a bit poking fun at Chinese restaurants. They segwayed into Thailand and whether or not they could “party” with Thailand’s “Lady Boys,” a group of men who identify as women.
At one point in the podcast, the duo made fun of Democratic presidental candidate Andrew Yang, referring to him as a “Jew chink.”
The video was dredged up and made viral by entertainment reporters Seth Simons and Mike Ryan of Uproxx.
“I started covering SNL professionally in 2010 and I’ve had a strict rule I NEVER comment publicly about cast members’ future employment status because it didn’t seem fair,” Ryan tweeted. “But Shane Gillis is now the exception. Completely unacceptable and he needs to be dismissed immediately.”
I started covering SNL professionally in 2010 and I’ve had a strict rule I NEVER comment publicly about cast members’ future employment status because it didn’t seem fair. But Shane Gillis is now the exception. Completely unacceptable and he needs to be dismissed immediately.— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) September 13, 2019
SNL’s statement said, “The language he used is offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
But SNL has a history of pushing the limits of race and stereotype.
In 1984, then cast member Eddie Murphy famously dawned whiteface to comically illustrate the differences between white and black people in a skit titled “White Like Me.”
Jimmy Fallon, who now hosts The Tonight Show, dressed in blackface for an SNL skit in 2000 where he portrayed fellow actor Chris Rock.
Comedian Nick Cannon, an African American, called out Fallon and others in a February Instagram post. “Happy ‘BLACKFACE’ History Month!!!,” he wrote. “I’m sure we can expect some more ‘Apologies’ by Monday.”
Two years ago, Newsweek featured an article titled “Steve Martin’s ‘King Tut’ Sketch is Racist, Liberal Arts Students Say,” referring to a 1978 SNL skit where Martin and a cast of dancers dressed as ancient Egyptians and sang a song that mocked the young Egyptian pharaoh who died approximately 3,500 years ago.
Former cast member Norm MacDonald declared, “Of course you know, this means WAR.”
of course you know, this means WAR. https://t.co/GMv8xNuvwx— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) September 17, 2019
Others chimed in. One response stated, “Sad… political correctness is taking over. Soon funny will be illegal.”
Sad….political correctness is taking over. Soon funny will be illegal.— tuukkatime (@tuukkatime2) September 17, 2019
Gillis responded to his firing on Monday. “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away,” he wrote on Twitter. “Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction, Gillis went on to say. “I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a mad tv guy anyway.”