Shane Gillis’ time with Saturday Night Live didn’t last long. Gillis was fired by SNL shortly after outrage grew when offensive remarks from the comedian’s past surfaced. Gillis could be heard using racial slurs and other insensitive language on an old podcast which led to the social media mob calling for his head.
Ultimately, Saturday Night Live decided the negative PR wasn’t worth it and Gillis was cut loose.
Since his firing, a number of comedians have come to the defense of Gillis claiming that his firing is a result of “cancel culture.” Among those comedians are Bill Burr, who touched on the topic during his recent Netflix special Paper Tiger, and Jim Jeffries.
The duo commented on Gillis’ firing this week during an episode of David Spade’s Lights Out on Comedy Central.
“Do they go back and also try to look at things the person might’ve done, or are they just looking for the bad stuff?” Burr said. “I mean you could honestly do that to anybody. We’re not running for office, when is this gonna f*cking end?” Burr also called out millenials for being “rats” and trying to get people in trouble.
“This is just cancel culture,” Jefferies said. “The guy shouldn’t have been fired. It was just a couple things back in his history. We’re gonna go through everyone’s history?”
There was also support for Gillis from Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who said this should be a teachable moment but did not believe that the comedian should have lost his gig on Saturday Night Live.
“Shane – I prefer comedy that makes people think and doesn’t take cheap shots. But I’m happy to sit down and talk with you if you’d like,” Yang, an Asian-American, wrote on Twitter. “For the record, I do not think he should lose his job. We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.”
The Gillis controversy initially came to light after SNL hired Bowen Yang, who is the show’s first Chinese-American cast member.