'SNL' controversy: Rob Schneider apologizes to Shane Gillis for 'era of cultural unforgiveness'

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
New "Saturday Night Live" cast member Shane Gillis has been fired for making racist remarks. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest)

Four days after the announcement that Shane Gillis would be part of the new season of “Saturday Night Live” sparked outrage, news that he’s not joining the cast after all has comedians and others weighing in on the show’s decision.

Gillis had been set to become one of three new cast members on the long-running sketch show. The trouble began when recent footage of him making racist remarks on another show was recirculated just after his casting was revealed.

On Monday, an “SNL” spokesperson on behalf of Lorne Michaels said the show had not previously seen the clips and that the vetting process for his hiring was “not up to our standard.” Gillis issued his own statement, which said he respected the decision and that he was “always a mad tv guy anyway.”

Former “SNL” cast member Rob Schneider, who was on the NBC show from 1990 to 1994, was quick to apologize to Gillis. He was sorry Gillis had the “misfortune” of being a cast member during a time of “cultural unforgiveness.”

Comedian Joey Diaz sided with some viewers (or, it sounds like, non-viewers) who thought Gillis would be better off without the hit show on his résumé.

Others with recognizable names approved of Gillis’s dismissal.

One perhaps unexpected reaction about Gillis’ situation came from Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who had offered to meet with Gillis and have a conversation when the controversy began.

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