On Thursday morning, Saturday Night Live announced a trio of new cast members for its upcoming 45th season -- and one has already become the subject of controversy. Shortly after the casting was announced, a video featuring newly-minted cast member Shane Gillis resurfaced on social media, in which he can be seen using a racial slur. The video clip, which was tweeted out by journalist Seth Simons, features Gillis talking about how "Chinatown [is] f---ing nuts", before going on to use a derogatory term for Asian people. Gillis later complains about Chinese restaurants, claiming that "the translation between you and the waiter is just such a f—ing hassle." Later on in the video, Gillis proclaims “nice racism, good racism. I love to be f—ing racist.”
today SNL announced the hiring of its first cast member of East Asian descent, and also this guy pic.twitter.com/0FAGJZJUkK— Seth Simons (@sasimons) September 12, 2019
this, again, is from September 2018 pic.twitter.com/inYFT22zjl— Seth Simons (@sasimons) September 12, 2019
The clip is from a longer video recording of Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast, a show hosted by Gillis and comedian Matt McCusker. The full video of the episode, which was originally dated for September 26, 2018, has reportedly been deleted from YouTube. Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast airs on The Bonfire on Sirius XM and is reportedly also available on iTunes.
This newly-resurfaced video comes as SNL also hired its first full-time Asian-American cast member, Bowen Yang. Yang, who previously served as a staff writer on the show, was announced to be joining the cast alongside Gillis and Groundlings alum Chloe Fineman. While there's no telling exactly what will result from this video of Gillis going viral, it certainly adds a complicated layer to SNL's upcoming season.
Saturday Night Live will premiere on September 28th, with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish. Other upcoming hosts include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, David Harbour, Kristen Stewart, and Eddie Murphy.