SNL Shane Gillis racist jokes

Comedy Central/YouTube

SNL newcomer Shane Gillis made racist jokes about Asians and Muslims

Gillis responded on Twitter: 'I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss.'


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Sep 13, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 4:03 am CDT

Clips of new Saturday Night Live cast member Shane Gillis making racist and homophobic jokes resurfaced Thursday on Twitter.

The videos arrived hours after Gillis had been announced as one of the three newest cast members of the long-time sketch comedy show. Writer Seth Simons originally posted the videos, edited into specific clips.

During an episode of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, dated from last year, he tells co-host and comedian Matt McCusker that “Chinatown’s fucking nuts” and “let the fucking Chinks live there.”

Later he describes a restaurant as being “full of fucking Chinee [sic].”

Bowen Yang, hired alongside Gillis, is the first Asian-American, and also the first gay-identifying male to be cast on SNL. The other videos, which are available on YouTube, document Gillis’ recorded history of racist and homophobic commentary. 

In a second video posted by Simon, McCusker appears to misunderstand the differences between racism and prejudice.

The footage is from an episode titled “Ep 98 Ka Pow.” All video and audio have been deleted from YouTube and the website.

In another video found on YouTube, Gillis makes racist and homophobic jokes about Muslims, using mock impressions about Allah making requests to Osama bin Laden on Sept. 10.

Says Gillis as “Allah”: “You guys know how I hate towers? Could you guys knock those down?”

Gillis dismissively responded on Twitter, though it appears regret isn’t part of his message. In fact, he appears to double down.

“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss,” he 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. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”

There has been no comment from Saturday Night Live or creator Lorne Michaels. The opinions from social media, though, are plentiful.


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*First Published: Sep 13, 2019, 9:05 am CDT