On the same day that Shane Gillis was announced as the latest cast member for Saturday Night Live, he has also found himself the center of controversy. Since the news first broke of his casting a little bit earlier today, there has been a great bit of blowback after the fact. Why? It stems from some remarks and commentary that Gillis has made in some of his other work.
During a past appearance on his own Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, Gillis used an offensive Asian slur while talking about an experience in Chinatown. There were also offensive characterizations, and other material has been found of him using a number of homophobic and offensive remarks.
Following all of this, Gillis issued a statement tonight calling himself a “comedian who pushes boundaries.” He goes on to claim that he has had many “bad misses” during his career and says that he is ‘happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything” that he has said. Is that really an apology? That is debatable in itself, since it’s more akin of him offering something, even if he seems to be putting more of the responsibility on those who choose to be offended.
There is a heated debate that is going on within the comedy world, and will continue to go within the comedy world, about how far to take things. Yet, there’s a difference between making a few remarks that are crossing a line and going so far as to use outright slurs — and Gillis is still young enough to realize that this is an internet age where things can come back to haunt you in the future. He still chose to do and say what he did, and now, we have to imagine there is some uncertainty on his future with the series. NBC has yet to commend on the matter, so that is something that there may be more discussion about at some point over the next 24 hours.
If SNL does choose to remove Gillis from the cast, odds are that they will do so quickly. This doesn’t seem to be the sort of thing that they would need to wait on.
What do you think about Shane Gillis’ “apology” on the other side of these remarks? Be sure to share in the comments. (Photo: NBC.)