New Saturday Night Live cast member Shane Gillis did not offer a full apology for using racial slurs in his comedy but said he would apologize "to anyone who's actually offended" by the term he used in a video that surfaced online Thursday. Hours after SNL revealed Gillis, Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang as its newest stars, a clip from September 2018 posted to a YouTube channel called Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast began to circulate online.
"Chinatown's f—ing nuts," Gillis says to Matt McCusker in the clip. "Let the f—ing ch— live there."
He continued to make crass jokes when talking about eating at Chinese restaurants. "The translation between you and the waiter is such a f—ing hassle, I'm pointing at it," he said, even mimicking Chinese accents.
Plenty of people on social media expressed outrage over the video, prompting Gillis to address the issue on Twitter.
"I'm a comedian who pushes boundaries. 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," he wrote.
Gillis' apology did not go over well with many social media users, who were left unmoved by the post.
"I'm happy to apologize to anyone else who digs up more of the 'boundary pushing' material I frantically deleted from YouTube to avoid this very thing from happening."
There ya go, fixed.— Marc Gottlieb (@CramBeilttog) September 13, 2019
all these other white people telling a white person that his blatant racism and usage of racial slurs is fine bc “comedy”— jhaunay-amanie (@wrightmywayout) September 13, 2019
Calling people chinks and saying it’s annoying when they try to learn English isn’t a risk, its racist. My family damn near died to be here. You were racist. It’s only a risk if you talk this way around me, then it is a risk as my intention will be different than yours.— Lewis Tan (@TheLewisTan) September 13, 2019
At press time, neither SNL nor NBC had commented on the controversy.
The new additions to the SNL cast, though Yang was a writer last season, comes on the heels of Leslie Jones' exit from the sketch comedy series.