Saturday Night Live has walked back its decision to employ stand-up comic Shane Gills. The comic has been dropped from the upcoming season’s roster after a YouTube video showing him using a racial slur against Asians went viral just hours after his hiring was announced.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” an SNL spokesperson representing Lorne Michaels told Deadline. “We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for SNL. We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
The video in question comes from a deleted segment of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast that was first published last year. Gills’ SNL hiring was originally announced along with several other new additions, including Bowen Yang, the comedy program’s first Asian American cast member.
Gills has since penned an apology on Twitter that reads:
“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. 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. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”