‘SNL’ Sets Shane Gillis as Host After Firing Him for Racist Jokes in 2019; 21 Savage Will Be Musical Guest

Shane Gillis has been set as the host of the Feb. 24 episode of “Saturday Night Live” — a controversial move, as the comedian was cast and swiftly cut from the late-night sketch show in 2019. He will be joined by musical guest 21 Savage.

Hours after Gillis was announced to be joining “SNL” in 2019, videos resurfaced on social media that featured him making racist, homophobic, Islamophobic and misogynistic jokes on his own podcast and other media.

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One week later, NBC cut him from the cast. “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining ‘SNL,’” a spokesperson said at the time on behalf of executive producer Lorne Michaels. “We want ‘SNL’ to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for ‘SNL.’ We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”

Gillis also released a statement, saying, “It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are. I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get ‘SNL.’ That can’t be taken away. Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at ‘SNL,’ but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a mad tv [sic] guy anyway.”

Among Gillis’ resurfaced comments were uses of anti-Asian, homophobic and ableist slurs.

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