Actress Sandra Oh, who hosted “Saturday Night Live” earlier this year, said Tuesday the NBC comedy show was right to fire new cast member Shane Gillis for racist and homophobic remarks on a podcast, and ripped the comedian for a nonapology.
The “Killing Eve” star tweeted that she was “glad to see” the NBC show had decided to “NOT legitimize/give platform [to] purveyors of racist homophobic content.”
She then referred to Gillis’ statement attributing his offensive comments to taking “risks” as a comedian, and saying he would apologise “to anyone who’s actually offended.”
“Risks? LAZY ASS UNORIGINAL,” Oh tweeted.
An “SNL” spokesperson said Monday, four days after Gillis was announced as a new cast member, that he would not be joining the show when its new season premieres later this month.
The decision followed freelance comedy writer Seth Simons’ tweets on Thursday featuring clips from a 2018 podcast co-hosted by Gillis. Gillis used racist slurs, including calling people of Chinese descent “fucking chinks,” and mocked Asian accents on the show.
Other reporters later pointed out more examples of problematic remarks by Gillis, who also referred to comedians who have spoken openly about mental health as “white faggot comics,” and ranked comedians using their race, gender and sexual orientation.
Oh, in a subsequent tweet, questioned “SNL’s” vetting process, wondering how Gillis was hired in the first place.
She went on to congratulate other new cast members, Chloe Fineman and “SNL” writer Bowen Yang. Yang played North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a sketch with Oh when she hosted “SNL” earlier this year, which inadvertently highlighted the show’s dearth of Asian performers.
Yang’s promotion makes him the show’s first Chinese American cast member, and one of only a handful of Asian and LGBTQ comedians to join “SNL,” which has run for more than four decades.
Oh was only the third Asian woman ever to host the show when she appeared in March. “SNL” has long been criticized for a lack of diversity and inclusion.