New ‘SNL’ Cast Member Shane Gillis Responds to Outcry Over Racist Jokes: ‘I’m a Comedian Who Pushes Boundaries’

Comedian was added as cast member Thursday

Last Updated: September 12, 2019 @ 10:00 PM

Shane Gillis has responded to the outcry over racial slurs, homophobic comments and similar remarks he made on his podcast that resurfaced after he was announced as one of the new cast members for the 45th season of “SNL.”

“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you got through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of misses. I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said,” Gillis said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”

Shortly after it was announced that Gillis, Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang (the first cast member of Asian descent) were added to NBC’s long-running sketch show, freelance journalist Seth Simons shared a clip from a September 2018 episode of Gillils’ podcast, “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast,” in which Gillis used a racial slur and imitated stereotypes about Asians and Asian culture. “Chinatown’s f—ing nuts,” Gillis says to comedian Matt McCusker. “Let the f–ing c—-s live there, huh?”

In a second video from the same podcast episode, Gillis says, “An Asian trying to learn English bothers me more than someone listening to Lil Uzi Vert while I’m trying to eat f—ing dinner,” adding, “Nice racism. I love to be f—ing racist.”

All videos related to the podcast were deleted from YouTube soon after, but Vulture resurfaced several other instances of racist, sexist and homophobic comments, including a podcast episode in which Gillis disparaged female comedians and another in which he said comedians like Judd Apatow and Chris Gethard are white f—-t comics” and “f—ing gayer than ISIS.”

Vulture also quoted the co-owner of Philadelphia’s Good God Comedy Theatre, who said that the club “stopped working with Gillis within the past few years because of racist, homophobic, and sexist things he’s said on and offstage.”

Gillis and reps for NBC and “SNL” did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheWrap.