One of Saturday Night Live's three new cast members is already proving controversial. Within hours of the SNL announcement Thursday, videos surfaced of Shane Gillis using racist and homophobic slurs, Variety reports. One video, apparently from a 2018 recording session for Gillis' podcast with fellow comedian Matt McCusker, features the comedians talking about Chinatown; Gillis says at one point, "Chinatown's f---ing nuts ... let the f---ing ch-nks live there." Later, talking about Chinese restaurant menus, he says, "The translation between you and the waiter is such a f---ing hassle, I’m pointing at it." He also says at one point that the conversation is "nice racism, good racism." Variety notes that some of the videos have since been removed from YouTube, but the magazine obtained copies of some of the material first.
In the same episode, while discussing the different versions of heaven various religions have, he says, "Muslim heaven" is "the best" but that in order to get there, "You gotta spill blood, you gotta praise Allah by spilling blood." In another episode, Gillis and McCusker mock Asian accents. In a third episode, Gillis uses the words "retard" and "f--got"; jokes with McCusker about "hot Southern boys" being raped during the Civil War and comparing that to "having gay sex in jail"; describes women who masqueraded as men in order to fight in the war as "flat chested f---ing b--ch[es]"; and called the yelling of soldiers during the Battle of Gettysburg "so gay." Seth Simons, a freelance writer and editor who covers comedy, was first to tweet about the comments in this Twitter thread. Gillis replied with a statement noting he "pushes boundaries" and "sometimes miss[es]." (Read more Saturday Night Live stories.)