Comedy journalist Seth Simons, who was the first to discover Gillis' use of the anti-Asian racist slur "ch*nk" in a 2018 podcast episode, found the new Saturday Night Live cast member frequently using the slur on an episode of the Real A** Podcast that was taped on Memorial Day 2019. In the podcast taped with other comedians, Gillis calls Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang a "Jew ch*nk," then calls Bernie Sanders a "Commie Jew ch*nk." "Next, please, next," Gillis says, according to Simons. "Gimme your next candidate, Dems. Jew ch*nk, next. Actually, they are running a Jew ch*nk—Chang, dude." Earlier in the podcast episode, Gillis finishes podcast host and comedian Luis J. Gomez's sentence by uttering "ch*nks," prompting one of the other comics to sing "ch-ch-ch-chi-ch-ch*nks" over a drum sting. "Shane Gillis crushing it with a one-word racist punchline," says Gomez. "One of my favorites." Gillis also used an exaggerated Chinese accent during the podcast taping.
Chris Gethard says Shane Gillis called to apologize -- another Philadelphia comedy theater says it stopped working with Gillis: The new SNL cast member used an anti-gay slur to describe Gethard and Judd Apatow in a past podcast episode. Gethard tells The New York Times that Gillis reached out to him Friday morning to apologize. “He definitely let me know that he felt he had crossed some lines,” Gethard said. “He’s certainly got a lot of fish to fry today, so the fact that he took some time to do that today, I give him credit.” Meanwhile, a second Philadelphia comedy theater has stepped forward to say it stopped working with Gillis because of his offensive comedy. On Thursday, the Good Good Comedy Theatre tweeted that it had “deliberately chosen not to work” with Gillis because of his “overt racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia — expressed both on and offstage.” Greg Maughan, the founder and executive director of the Philly Improv Theater, said his theater also stopped working with Gillis. Maughan said that decision followed “an internal discussion among the staff because he seemed to insist on working material that was racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and homophobic."
SNL should know an attention-seeking bigot when they see one: "And there’s no way they didn’t see this coming," says Lorraine Ali, who expects better of SNL since it's been promoting a liberal viewpoint for years. "The once-edgy sketch comedy series has a history of lampooning those who deal in hateful rhetoric — exactly like the frequent slurs made by the guy they just hired."
Gillis' hackish laziness is beneath SNL, not to mention a below-average amateur night: "That non-apology is not good enough," says Lawrence Yee. "It lacks remorse. It lacks an understanding of what he said was wrong. By saying he is 'happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended,' Gillis it suggests anyone who is actually offended doesn’t understand his comedy. Well Shane, I understand your comedy just fine. It’s ignorant. And one more thing: It’s also uninformed."