"Saturday Night Live" has announced that newly hired comedian Shane Gillis will no longer be a part of the show after his racist, homophobic jokes resurfaced online. Gillis was one of three comedians announced as the new cast members last week. "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 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,"
a spokesperson on behalf of SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels said in a statement. Gillis came under fire after a freelance writer and editor Seth Simons posted on Twitter a viral video from Gillis' podcast, Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast, in which the comedian is heard making fun of people from Chinese descent.
He had issued an apology in the wake of the backlash, calling himself 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," he had said.
After it was announced that he was no longer a part of SNL, Gillis issued another statement.
"It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are. 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 anywa," he wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter page.
The 45 season of the show will premiere on September 28 on NBC with host Woody Harrelson.