Shane Gillis was unapologetic during a stand-up appearance since being fired from Saturday Night Live over racist remarks he made on his podcast. According to a report from Rolling Stone, Gillis wore a hoodie that advertised the podcast and frequently returned to the well of jokes that are racist against Asian Americans while discussing his termination.
"Everybody’s been like, ‘You can’t say shit and not expect consequences.’ I’m fine with the consequences. I’m not arguing. Fuck it," he said of his ouster. "But I do want everyone to know that I’ve reading every one of my death threats in an Asian accent."
Later in the set, he compared his conservative family members with his woke friends in New York.
"[My uncles] have the internet, so I’ll get online and the first status will be someone from back home like, ‘Fucking Colin Kaepernick better stand up. Like this status if you love the troops and God. Share it if you’re not gay.’ Next status is one of my new woke friends like, ‘I’m not racist,'” said Gillis. “It’s funny to hear so many people these days be like, ‘I’m not racist.’ Are you sure? Being racist isn’t a yes or no thing. It’s not like you have it or you don’t have it. Being racist is like being hungry. You’re not right now but a cheeseburger could cut you off in traffic and you could get hungry real quick. You didn’t even know you were hungry for that type of cheeseburger. The cheeseburger’s not Asian in that joke.”
Of course, it doesn't take someone being woke to know that calling someone a "Jew c***k" is going to come off as more than a little bit racist. Gillis said in a statement on his firing that he understood the show's decision.
“It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are. I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away," he said. "Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made."
SNL stalwart Kenan Thompson also agreed with the way that Gillis was handled, saying that it shows what won't be tolerated at the long-running show.
"I think they already made it. They put their stamp on there — which everyone would have assumed about SNL anyway — that we don’t tolerate abuse or disrespect of anyone, racial or otherwise. It’s just not conducive to a comedy show,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
That mood was echoed by NBC stars on hand for a night showcasing their comedy lineup. Almost every actor and comedian who spoke with THR said they believed SNL made the correct decision (or they declined to talk at all).
“I think they made the correct decision,” Superstore's Nico Santos said. “Obviously, I’m not part of that process and the heads of the network are going to do what they’re going to do, but it’s hard within comedy because I certainly don’t want anyone to get censored. Yet, what Shane said was not in the context of a joke. It was a conversation and that’s the difference.”