On Monday’s Lights Out With David Spade, he brought up Gillis, who was hired on the NBC comedy show last week only to be fired days later after racist remarks he made about Asians surfaced. While Spade initially gave the floor to his guests, comedians Jim Jefferies and Bill Burr, to “stay out of the fray” due to his connection to the show, he ended up giving his opinion anyway.
Jefferies criticized our “cancel culture,” and asked whether past SNL sketches should be thrown out too, pointing to John Belushi’s famous Samurai and Mike Meyers as the Japanese game show host. And Burr argued that if you look in anyone’s past, you could find some unflattering things. “We’re not running for office,” Burr argued. “When is this going to f***king end?” He also blamed “millennials,” saying they are “a bunch of rats... None of them care. All they want to do is get people in trouble.”
That’s when Spade weighed in, saying, “I think when I was younger on SNL, when you get hired the first move wasn’t to rifle through your past to make sure you get fired right away.”
Spade then brought up Kyler Murray, who, hours after winning the Heisman trophy in December, saw homophobic tweets that he posted in 2011 and 2012 resurfaced. Murray apologized and deleted the tweets.
“The guy won the Heisman and within the hour someone’s like, ‘Well, I went back 15 years and guess what — he did something sh**ty,” said Spade.
He continued, “Yeah, we all do.”
Not everyone agreed with the assessment of Spade and his guests, however. In comments on the show’s Twitter, people pointed out that Gillis’s comments weren’t from 15 years ago. They were recent and pointed. Gillis used an Asian slur, mocked their accents and criticized their ability to speak English.
He also used homophobic slurs.
But...they didn’t go back 15 years or dig deep in his past. They found racist things he said 8 months ago. And the entire joke was dirty “chinks” who can’t learn to speak English correctly. Not to mention calling other people “f*gg*ts” as an insult as if it’s 1993.— Krissy (@MrsJackSwede) September 17, 2019
The segment was dubbed a “disappointing take.”
Disappointing takes; they probably don't have the full picture. It's not like folks dug back 15 years, a few months ago Gillis publicly called a current democratic primary candidate a J-w Ch-nk. Presumably a guest host SNL might want someday.— ⚡ (@davidsteele) September 17, 2019
And it was pointed out that the Saturday Night Live sketches they mentioned were decades old.
I think their points would be stronger if their comparisons lined up better.— wow obama netflix ☕️ (@wetsprocket) September 17, 2019
They talk about looking back at 15 years of someone’s work, but Gillis’ material was from the last year or so.
Their examples of offensive SNL material are from the ‘70s and ‘90s, over 20 years ago!
That said, Spade and company aren’t alone. Rob Schneider, also an SNL alum, apologized to Gillis on Monday. He said he was sorry Gillis had the “misfortune” of being a cast member during a time of “cultural unforgiveness.”
Dear @Shanemgillis— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) September 16, 2019
As a former SNL cast member I am sorry that you had the misfortune of being a cast member during this era of cultural unforgiveness where comedic misfires are subject to the intolerable inquisition of those who never risked bombing on stage themselves.
Days after Gillis — as well as SNL’s first Asian cast member, Bowen Yang — were announced as new hires on the long-running NBC show, a spokesperson for Lorne Michaels announced that Gillis wasn’t properly vetted before being hired and was “not up to our standard.” Gillis released his own statement saying he was “always a mad tv guy anyway.”
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