Shane Gillis: Saturday Night Live sacks new comedian over ‘hurtful’ racial slurs

A new Saturday Night Live comedian has been axed from the show before his first appearance after a video emerged of him making “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable” slurs about Chinese people.

Shane Gillis faced a backlash soon after it was announced he was joining the long-running US sketch show.

After footage of him making offensive comments was shared online, SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels confirmed he has removed Gillis from the cast.

A spokesman for Michaels said: “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL.

“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 a comedian and his impressive audition for SNL. We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days.

Gillis has posted a statement on Twitter saying it felt “ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are”.

He added: “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away.

“Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity.

“I was always a mad TV guy anyway.”