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New ‘Saturday Night Live’ Actor Shane Gillis Under Fire for Racist Remarks

The “SNL” hire made several racist remarks about Chinese people in the not-so-distant past.
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Within hours of the 2018 comments going viral, Vulture also reported that people from the comedy scene in Philadelphia, where Gillis performed for many years, were mystified by his hiring on the venerable show. The owner co-owner of the city’s Good Good Comedy Theatre said they had stopped booking Gillis in recent years “because of racist, homophobic, and sexist things he’s said on and offstage.” Simons noted earlier in the day that most of the episodes of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast were removed from YouTube at some point prior to this all coming to wider attention, though they’re still available on the show’s website.

This isn’t the first time a current SNL cast member has come under fire for past material and social media use. “Weekend Update” co-anchor Michael Che and repertory player Melissa Villaseñor have both faced criticism for comments on Instagram and Twitter seen by some as sexist and racist, though neither of them faced any public disciplinary action from the show. Unlike Gillis, the uproar over Che and Villaseñor’s actions did not happen on the day their hirings were announced.

Saturday Night Live and NBC have yet to comment on the situation or take any action regarding Gillis’s employment. The show did not respond immediately to requests for comment from Fortune.

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