Gillis was dismissed from the sketch comedy show after audio and video surfaced of him using language that many said was homophobic and racist. Some of the comments were directed at Yang, which the White House hopeful seemed to brush off.
Yang told the panel, “My wife and I settled down and watched some of his comedy and tried to figure out if he was evil or something else, and watching his work I thought he was a ‘still figuring it out comedian’ who told some offensive jokes, and that to me was not something someone should lose their job over.”
He also added, “As the person who was personally called out, I thought it was my place to say, ‘Look, I don’t think this person should lose his job and I was the person insulted.’ We should use this as an opportunity to become a little bit more understanding and forgiving as a country.”
Yang went on to say, “Right now, we’re in this time where we’re, in my mind, unduly punitive and vindictive about misstatements.” Co-host Joy Behar, who had previously defended Gillis on The View, echoed Yang’s position.
“And no sense of humor. They’re dragging people — the comedy removal services are out there, you know?” joked Behar.
Viewers on Twitter quickly weighed in, with many tweeting that they agree with Yang and that Gillis should have been allowed to appear on SNL:
Others disagreed, and didn’t think that a comedian who is still “figuring it out” should be given a platform like SNL:
Joy Behar slams climate change deniers:
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