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Guess Why 'Saturday Night Live' Hired Shane Gillis To Begin With?

By Kristy Puchko | TV | September 18, 2019 |

By Kristy Puchko | TV | September 18, 2019 |


If you’ve seen the many, many examples where recently canned comic Shane Gillis used slurs as punchlines, you might wonder what Saturday Night Live saw in this guy to begin with. Well, if you guessed it was because SNL was looking to appeal to conservatives, you were right.

Variety reports:

According to sources, the long-running NBC comedy show and series mastermind Lorne Michaels were actively looking to cast a comedian for its new season who would appeal to more conservative viewers. This was meant to counteract the appearance of a liberal bias on the show, given that it has seen a major resurgence in popularity in recent years with Alec Baldwin regularly portraying President Donald Trump while other cast members and guest stars have played members of his administration and those in his orbit.

Saturday Night Live, who invited Donald Trump on to host after he called Mexicans “rapists” in his presidential campaign kick-off, is worried about a perceived liberal bias. So the same day they hired Chloe Fineman, a Jewish woman, and Bowen Yang, a gay man of color, they made sure to hire a white dude from a Red State who wouldn’t be threatening to Trump lovers. They just happened to pick a guy who’d become known in the Philly comedy scene for making racist, homophobic, and sexist comments on stage and off. They just happened to hire a guy who had a podcast where he casually drops slurs like, “ch*nk,” “f*ggot,” and “jew ch*nk.” But SNL totally didn’t know about all that.

Despite journalists uncovering a bevy of Gillis’s bigoted remarks within 24 hours of his casting, executive producer Lorne Michaels claimed they “were not aware” of his penchant for “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable” language. His statement went on to say, “our vetting process was not up to our standard.”

Gillis may have lost a dream job, but at least he has comedians like Rob Schneider, Bill Burr, Jim Jefferies, and David Spade. Meanwhile, we stand with Sandra Oh.

Kristy Puchko is the film editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Getty