'SNL' Reportedly Hired Shane Gillis to 'Appeal to More Conservative Viewers'

A new report highlight's how 'Saturday Night Live' hired Shane Gillis to "appeal to more conservative viewers."


Image via Getty/Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


Saturday Night Live's hiring of Shane Gillis, which was followed quite quickly by his firing, was reportedly a move inspired by the show wanting to appeal to viewers who might describe themselves as "conservative."

This not-exactly-surprising bit of info comes from Varietysources, who were quoted in a Tuesday-published article as saying that Lorne Michaels and the SNL team had been "actively looking to cast a comedian for its new season who would appeal to more conservative viewers." 

Apparently, this search was inspired by the peculiar desire to "counteract the appearance of a liberal bias" on the show, which marks a pretty remarkable misreading of what SNL actually represents in the current era. 

The same sources added that Gillis' pre-casting vetting process was "severely lacking," with the ensuing firing (brought about by the circulation of podcast clips that saw Gillis using racist and homophobic slurs) said to have been viewed by the SNL team as a "lesson" on the need for a more thorough approach.

In a statement announcing Gillis’ firing earlier this week, a rep for Lorne Michaels apologized for the show’s failure to see the clips sooner. 

"We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for SNL," the rep said Monday of Gillis, whose pre-SNL history included a sketch about a firefighter being outed as a MAGA follower during a live news broadcast. "We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable."

Some, however, have shared words of support for Gillis, including Bill Burr and Jim Jefferies.

Latest in Pop Culture