In response to claims of a liberal bias, Lorne Michaels and his Saturday Night Live staff were "looking to shake things up" with Gillis' casting, 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," according to Variety's Joe Otterson and Michael Schneider. "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." SNL, they point out, usually recruits from improv troupes like The Groundlings, Second City, and The Upright Citizens Brigade. But they opted for Gillis, a comedian with no credited onscreen acting experience, after he auditioned with his standup act. The hiring of Gillis weeks before the Season 45 premiere was "in keeping with the show’s habit of making last-minute hiring decisions," they report. But the rush to hire Gillis didn't allow the SNL staff enough time to vet him for his racist and homophobic remarks on various podcasts. Variety adds that this was a learning lesson for SNL and its "severely lacking" vetting process as "Gillis was well-known in comedy circles for using the type of language and remarks that ultimately led to the show cutting ties with him before he ever made it to air," according to the Variety report. Variety adds that Michaels spent the weekend gathering information before deciding to fire Gillis on Monday.