Norm MacDonald and Rob Schneider, both former "Saturday Night Live" cast members, have spoken out in condemnation of the show's firing of comedian Shane Gillis.
"SNL" executives ousted Gillis after some of the comedian's controversial jokes resurfaced. Journalists unearthed his previous remarks after news of his hiring emerged. The remarks were said to include what many people said were racist and homophobic jokes.
What are the details?
MacDonald expressed his disgust Monday with the show's decision to fire Gillis.
"Of course you know, this means WAR," MacDonald wrote on Twitter about the news.
of course you know, this means WAR. https://t.co/GMv8xNuvwx— Norm Macdonald (@Norm Macdonald) 1568680706.0
He also reached out to Gillis via the social media network, writing, "Hey, Shane, I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine how you must feel. The work it takes to get that show and to have it snatched away by some guy who does 'Spoken Bird' poetry."
"Unacceptable," MacDonald added. "Please DM me, pal, when you have a moment. I'm so sorry."
@Shanemgillis Hey, Shane, I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine how you must feel. The work it takes to get that show… https://t.co/MFTTQPwpM6— Norm Macdonald (@Norm Macdonald) 1568668091.0
Schneider also weighed in, ultimately pointing out that "destroying someone" does not seem to be a suitable punishment for controversial remarks.
He wrote, "Dear @Shanemgillis As a former SNL cast member I am sorry that you had the misfortune of being a cast member during this era of cultural where comedic misfires are subject to the intolerable inquisition of those who never risked bombing on stage themselves."
Dear @Shanemgillis As a former SNL cast member I am sorry that you had the misfortune of being a cast member durin… https://t.co/qzHDoNEZeS— Rob Schneider (@Rob Schneider) 1568673618.0
He later added, "I think a suspension would be appropriate for someone who is part of an organization that says something terrible in a podcast from a year earlier. An honest, sincere apology and also accepting it seems appropriate as well. Destroying someone does not."
I think a suspension would be appropriate for someone who is part of an organization that says something terrible i… https://t.co/s6Swi42qdU— Rob Schneider (@Rob Schneider) 1568694776.0
'SNL' speaks out
A spokesperson for the long-running comedy sketch show revealed the news of Gillis' firing Monday.
"After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining 'SNL,'" the spokesperson said. "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.'"
The spokesperson added that people in production were not aware of controversial jokes that he'd made in the past.
"The language he used is offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable," the spokesperson noted. "We are sorry that we did not see these video clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard."
'I'm a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL'
Gillis responded to the controversy Monday night on Twitter.
In a lengthy note, Gillis wrote, "I'm a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you're going to find a lot of bad misses.
"I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said," he continued. "My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks."
Gillis added, "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," he countered. "I respect the decision they made. I'm honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a [Mad TV] guy anyway."
You can read more about the controversy here.
https://t.co/fw7QJHLFdi— Shane Gillis (@Shane Gillis) 1568342716.0
https://t.co/vN0htGMBVg— Shane Gillis (@Shane Gillis) 1568664699.0