New ‘SNL’ cast member Shane Gillis responds after video of racist slur resurfaces

Shane Gillis
Shane Gillis, who joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” as a featured player Thursday, used an anti-Chinese slur on his podcast in 2018.
(Phil Provencio)

Shane Gillis, one of three performers added to the cast of “Saturday Night Live” on Thursday, used a racist slur in a September 2018 episode of “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast,” as shown in a video resurfaced on Twitter by comedy journalist Seth Simons.

In the two-minute clip from an episode titled “Ka-Pow,” Gillis and co-host Matt McCusker denigrate Chinatown; in addition to using the anti-Chinese slur, Gillis mimics a Chinese accent and mocks the conventions of Chinese restaurants. (He does, however, seem unimpressed by McCusker’s false claim that the Chinese invented MSG.)

The video surfaced on the same day that the venerable NBC sketch show drew praise for its casting of gay Asian American comedian Bowen Yang.

Video of the episode appears to have been deleted from YouTube since it began circulating online, and the archive of “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast” now includes only episodes dating back to July 2019. Vulture reported that Gillis also used homophobic language on another episode of the podcast.

Late Thursday, Gillis posted a statement on Twitter saying he’s “happy to apologize to anyone actually offended by anything I’ve said,” but not, in fact, going so far as to apologize.


Representatives for NBC had not returned calls for comment by press time.