Shane Gillis fired from SNL for his racist comments

Category:  Opinions
Friday, September 27th, 2019 at 11:07 AM

When you live as a minority, of any kind, you learn that some people are just ignorant. When you’re a minority, you learn that people will make fun of you because they don’t understand you or your culture. Every day is a battle, but you remind yourself you will eventually have helped create a world where ignorance is no longer accepted, and we can freely and openly discuss and display the different cultures and backgrounds we are from. “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) took a stance and sided with the right side of history.

NBC recently announced that Shane Gillis would be joining SNL for its 45th season. Just days after being hired, racial remarks Gillis had made resurfaced, and he was let go.

Gillis made the remarks in 2018 on his podcast, “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.” Seth Simons, a freelance comedy reporter, brought the comments Gillis and co-host Matt McCusker made to the attention of both the world and SNL. In the clips, Gillis and McCusker were ridiculing Asian accents and at one point even called the people of Chinatown “chinks.”

While the controversy was ongoing, Gillis released a series of tweets in regard to both losing his job and the comments he made, but it wasn’t of any significance and they didn’t have any meaning behind them. He started by simply saying he would be “happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended,” then said he was grateful SNL gave him this opportunity, and he would finish (post firing) by saying that he “was always a mad tv guy anyway.”

This isn’t the first time (and likely will not be the last) Gillis has made off-colored and offensive remarks about something; he also has a background in anti-gay comments and in making stereotypical references to Muslims, according to Variety.

Now, here is the messed-up part. Gillis (in addition to his bad apology) claims he is just “trying to be the best comedian [he] can be and sometimes that requires risks.” Being a racist, a homophobe and an Islamophobe isn’t risky. It’s ridiculous and Gillis is hiding behind comedy.

To play the devil’s advocate (like Democratic presidential nominee Andrew Yang), one could argue that people poke fun at certain things (race, religion, sexual orientation) all the time. This is true, they do, but there is only really one time someone can justify that, and that is when you belong to that minority community.

As a black woman, it is perfectly OK for me to poke fun at the fact that I “mhmm” when I am being lied to, because I am poking fun at myself. However, if someone who wasn’t a black woman was to stereotype black women, that is just rude and inconsiderate because you don’t know that community and aren’t a part of it.

I am not of Asian decent, nor have I ever been to Chinatown, and yes there is that possibility that some Asians (Andrew Yang) think what Gillis did was funny, but it isn’t 1980 anymore. We have to draw a line as minority and underrepresented communities.

We must hold people accountable for being ignorant. This isn’t the first time someone will be fired for being ill-mannered and insensible, and it won’t be the last.

Oh, by the way, Gillis can stay on with “Mad TV” and stick to his podcasts. We don’t want him on SNL anyways.

Tags: snl, shane gillis

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