Sep 16, 2019

SNL fires Shane Gillis after clips show use of racial slurs

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest

NBC's "Saturday Night Live" says comedian Shane Gillis won't be joining the show after resurfaced clips showed him using racial slurs and homophobic language, Variety reports.

Why it matters: Gillis' removal from the show's incoming cast serves as yet another example of public figures facing increased accountability for past comments in the age of the internet.

Context: Gillis had been 1 of 3 new cast members added to the show last week. Not long after, segments of Gillis' past media performances and presentations began to resurface, featuring disparaging remarks against Asians, gay people, jokes about sexual assault and more.

What they're saying:

  • An SNL spokesperson said in a statement: "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 has since offered his own statement: "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."

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"SNL": Baldwin's Trump addresses impeachment inquiry

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live." Photo: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

"Saturday Night Live" addressed House Democrats' inquiry into President Trump's impeachment in the cold open of its Season 45 premiere.

The big picture: Alec Baldwin was back as President Trump, phoning Hollywood star Liev Schreiber as he searched for a "fixer." And 2020 "SNL" Democrats held a town hall during which they discussed impeachment.

Go deeperArrowSep 29, 2019

"SNL" skewers 2020 Democrats' CNN town hall in cold open

Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Warren on "Saturday Night Live." Photo: Will Heath/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

"Saturday Night Live" skewered 2020 Democratic candidates' CNN/Human Rights Campaign Foundation town hall on LGBTQ issues in a star-studded cold open, with Kate McKinnon sending up Sen. Elizabeth Warren's comments during the debate on same-sex marriage that went viral.

The big picture: Emmy Award-winning actor Billy Porter put in a stylish star turn as the announcer, introducing Sen. Cory Booker, played by "SNL" regular Chris Redd by saying, "He may live in the projects, but ladies, he ain’t no project. It’s Cory Booker."

  • "Hamilton" creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda also had a scene-stealing moment as former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, apologizing for nor not being gay. "Look, I’m young, I’m diverse," he said. "I’m Latino Obama."
  • Hollywood heavyweight Woody Harrelson returned as former Vice President Joe Biden, delivering the line, "The vast majority of people in America are not homophobic; they’re just scared of gay people."

Flashback: While the real Warren did not have a wig to pull off as McKinnon's character did, she won plenty of cheers at the town hall and praise from the LGBTQ community and rights advocates for her response to a question about religious opposition to same-sex marriage.

Keep ReadingArrowOct 13, 2019

Ronan Farrow's new book accuses Matt Lauer of raping NBC colleague

Matt Lauer. Photo: Noam Galai/WireImage

Investigative reporter Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill” alleges that former co-host of NBC's "Today" show Matt Lauer raped colleague Brooke Nevils at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to Variety magazine.

Why it matters: NBC News fired Lauer in 2017 following a "detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" filed by Nevils, but NBC executives emphasized that the incident hadn’t been criminal or an assault.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019