Saturday Night Live sparked controversy among viewers after announcing comedian Shane Gillis as the host of an upcoming episode. Gillis will be hosting the February 24 episode with rapper 21 Savage as the musical guest.
While some praised the iconic late-night comedy show for its choice of host, others slammed the series for hiring the same comedian they fired in 2019 for his racist and homophobic humor.
“Shane Gillis became so inevitable that the company that fired him had to hire him to host their show,” one fan wrote with a laugh. “If Shane Gillis is hosting SNL then I actually have a reason to watch SNL,” another said.
When SNL called Shane Gillis to host:pic.twitter.com/OIiBkeeQ04— Rick E Langston (@radvstheworld) February 4, 2024
“Not surprised, they asked Morgan Wallen back too. They like racists,” one viewer fumed. “SNL said we gave yall ayo for black history month now let’s slide this random racist in… they are the wooorrrrstttt,” another said.
Shane Gillis Issues Apology for Controversial Jokes
The controversy began when SNL hired cast Gillis alongside three other comedians. Shortly after the announcement, however, a 2018 episode of his Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast resurfaced.
The since-deleted episode featured Shane Gillis mocking a Chinese accent and using racial slurs. Gillis and his co-host, Matt McCusker, also ranked comedians on how funny they were based on race and used homophobic slurs.
Shane Gillis’ comments resulted in a prompt firing from SNL. Creator Lorne Michaels claimed in a statement that they were unaware of his “prior remarks” and did not “vet” him appropriately.
“The language he used is offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier,” Michaels wrote.
Shortly after news broke of Shane Gillis’ firing, the comedian took to Twitter (now X) to issue an apology. “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss,” Gillis wrote. “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,” he continued. “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”