New 'SNL' Castmember Shane Gillis Under Fire for Racial Slur in Resurfaced Audio

"I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said," Gillis said via a Twitter statement.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Shane Gillis

Shane Gillis, one of three new Saturday Night Live castmembers announced Thursday, can be seen using a racial slur in a since-deleted video on a YouTube channel called "Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast."

"Chinatown’s fucking nuts," Gillis says in a segment of the video. "Let the fucking ch---s live there."

Original audio of the Sept. 26, 2018, podcast and the YouTube video has since been deleted. Freelance writer and editor Seth Simons shared a clip on his Twitter account. Gillis also discusses Chinese restaurants in the video, saying, "The translation between you and the waiter is just such a fucking hassle."

Gillis has shared a statement via his Twitter account, tweeting "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." 

Audio from an episode of the Real Ass Podcast that aired May of this year reveals Gillis calling Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang a "Jew ch---k," as well as the comedian using racial slurs and Chinese accents. Episode 403 is currently available online, while a video has been made private.

Yang retweeted Gillis' apology on Saturday morning, saying "I prefer comedy that makes people think and doesn’t take cheap shots. But I’m happy to sit down and talk with you if you’d like."

Additional audio from a separate 2018 episode of "Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast" sees Gillis and co-host Matt McCusker ranking how funny comedians are by race and using homophobic slurs. While referencing comedians like Judd Apatow, Gillis calls them "white faggot comics" and "fucking gayer than ISIS." 

Gillis joins Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, who is the long-running NBC sketch show's only Asian-American castmember. They join SNL following Leslie Jones' exit from the show after five years to concentrate on upcoming movie projects and a Netflix comedy special.

Prior to being cast on SNL, Gillis was known to perform stand-up at various comedy clubs in New York City. Apart from stand-up, Gillis contributes to the Comedy Central Radio show The Bonfire. He also was previously featured as a New Face at the Montreal comedy festival Just for Laughs. 

Representatives for NBC did not immediately reply to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment. 

SNL returns Sept. 28 for its 45th season with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.

Sept. 12, 7:51 p.m. Updated to include Gillis' statement.
Sept. 13, 6:45 a.m. Updated with second episode from 2018.
Sept. 13, 6:14 p.m. Updated with new podcast audio from 2019.
Sep. 14, 8:44 a.m. Updated with Andrew Yang's tweet to Gillis. 

Jackie Strause contributed to this story.