David Spade on Shane Gillis: When I was on 'SNL,' people didn't 'rifle through your past to make sure you get fired'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

David Spade tried not to weigh in on Shane Gillis’s firing from Saturday Night Live — as an alum of the show — but that didn’t exactly work out.

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.

89th Academy Awards - Oscars Vanity Fair Party - Beverly Hills, California, U.S. - 26/02/17 – Actor David Spade. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

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.

The segment was dubbed a “disappointing take.”

And it was pointed out that the Saturday Night Live sketches they mentioned were decades old.

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.”

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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