(NEW YORK) — Shane Gillis will no longer be joining the cast of Saturday Night Live, after it was revealed he used racist slurs against Asians, including presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
An SNL spokesperson released a statement to ABC News on behalf of Lorne Michaels that reads, “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL.”
The statement continues, “We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for SNL.”
“We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. 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.”
Gillis tweeted his own statement in response to the firing, writing, “It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are. I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away.”
He continues, “Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a Mad TV guy anyway.”
Gillis had been added to the cast last Thursday, along with Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, the show’s first fully Asian-American cast member. On the same day, backlash against Gillis’ previous offensive statements began. He issued an apology shortly after.
SNL returns September 28 for its 45th season with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.
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