NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy said he thinks “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels made the right decision to fire Shane Gillis in September over his use of racial slurs in his standup act.
At the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena on Saturday, Telegdy called the situation “a learning moment for a lot of people.”
“We’ve all got to learn lessons about what you shake down from someone’s past and what you hold them accountable for,” he added. “We acted fast, Lorne [Michaels] did the right thing.”
Gillis was hired as a new cast member on Sept. 12, but was fired a week later after videos surfaced of the comedian using racial slurs in a September 2018 episode of his podcast. Soon after the video was posted to Twitter, it went viral, leading to an outcry for “SNL” to fire Gillis.
“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 shortly after his ouster. “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”