Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest
Saturday Night Live‘s newest comedian Shane Gillis is making waves well before the show kicks off.
Hours after the NBC late show announced its newest cast members on Thursday, a 2018 video surfaced of Gillis making racial slurs against Asians. “Chinatown’s f–king nuts,” he can be seen saying in a since deleted clip from his podcast, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast. “Let the f–king ch–s live there.”
At one point, he even mimicked their accents while making fun of Chinese restaurants: “The translation between you and the waiter is just such a f–king hassle.”
Now, as SNL fans call for him to be fired, Gillis is issuing an apology. “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries,” he tweeted. “I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of misses.”
“I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said,” he continued. “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes the requires risks.”
In addition to Gillis, the sketch comedy series has also added Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang to its roster for season 45. For his part, Bowen previously served as a write and has since been promoted to featured player, making him one of the first Asian castmembers in the show’s long-running history.
Though Leslie Jones announced her departure earlier this summer, the cast still boasts Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett, Pete Davidson, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Mikey Day, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villasenor, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, and Chris Redd.
Saturday Night Live‘s 45th season kicks off on September 28 with Woody Harrelson and Billie Eilish.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBC Universal family.)