Andrew Yang responds to new SNL member Shane Gillis' racial slur video | News Coverage from USA

Andrew Yang responds to new SNL member Shane Gillis’ racial slur video

Sara M Moniuszko


Published 1:34 PM EDT Sep 14, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is responding to Shane Gillis, one of three new featured players on “Saturday Night Live,” after a 2018 video resurfaced of him using a racial slur.

In a clip from an episode of his “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast,” Gillis made derogatory remarks about Asians while chatting with comedian co-host Matt McCusker.

“Chinatown’s (expletive) nuts,” Gillis said. “Let the (expletive) live there,” he added, using a racial slur.

Page Six and Vice also report Gillis used the slur in reference to Yang, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate of East Asian descent, in a May episode of “Real A– Podcast.” The video of the episode has since been taken down.

Gillis issued an apology for the remarks on Thursday.

“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss,” he wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.”

On Saturday, Yang shared Gillis’ apology on his Twitter account along with a message.

“Shane – 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,” Yang wrote.

In a follow-up tweet, Yang clarified that he doesn’t think the comedian should be fired from his new gig with “SNL.”

“For the record, I do not think he should lose his job,” he tweeted. “We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.”

Yang hasn’t been the only person to respond to Gillis’ remarks. The comments sparked instant backlash on social media, with many Asian comedians and writers calling NBC’s decision to hire Gillis into question. 

The video of Gillis’ anti-Asian remarks came to light the same day it was announced he would join “SNL” with Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, the show’s first Asian cast member. 

USA TODAY has reached out to NBC for comment.

Contributing: Cydney Henderson

Meet three new ‘SNL’ cast members: Chloe Fineman, Shane Gillis and Bowen Yang

Backlash: New ‘SNL’ member Shane Gillis apologizes for using anti-Asian slur in resurfaced video

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