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It’s two steps forward and one garbage mouth back for Saturday Night Live!

On Thursday, the iconic sketch show announced three new cast members for the upcoming 45th season: improviser Chloe Fineman, SNL writer Bowen Yang, and stand-up Shane Gillis (above).

At first, SNL was applauded for hiring Yang as its first full-time Asian American cast member, but now the show is getting heat for casting Gillis. Why? Because some of his old comedy has surfaced — and it’s a bit too racist for some people’s liking.

Outrage was summoned when freelance writer and comedy reporter Seth Simons shared a clip from Gillis’ podcast, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, showing the SNL newcomer and cohost Matt McCusker make a series of racist comments about Asians and use ridiculous, mocking accents.

While talking about Chinatown, Gillis says in the first clip:

“Why do the f**king ch*nks live there?” 

Gross. See (below):

In another clip from the same episode (below) — which was recorded in September 2018, btw — Gillis joked about being annoyed at Asian people trying to learn English, adding:

“Nice racism. Good racism.”

In a clip from another episode, Gillis and his cohost discuss comedians who use a more confessional style for their stand up, like Judd Apatow and Chris Gethard. Flexing their own comedic chops, the duo mocks them using homophobic slurs, calling them “white f*****t comics” and “f**king gayer than ISIS.”

Ha ha?

Earlier in the clip, the cohosts rank how funny comedians are by race, gender and sexual orientation. Gillis muses at one point:

 “White chicks are literally the bottom. Ali Wong is making it so Asian chicks are funnier than white chicks.”

Really, Lorne Michaels? This guy? 

Gillis, for his part, put some effort into erasing his history from the internet before his casting went public, as past episodes of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast have been scraped from its YouTube channel.

But the internet never forgets: there’s an entire subreddit dedicated to his podcast that’s filled with homophobic slurs, even against current SNL writers.

On top of that, sources in the Philadelphia comedy scene — where Gillis lived and performed from 2014 until last year — told Vulture they were surprised to see the SNL casting news, given his questionable material. 

Kate Banford, co-owner of the Good Good Comedy Theatre, told the outlet the venue stopped working with Gillis within the past few years “because of racist, homophobic, and sexist things he’s said on and offstage.” 

Meanwhile, another anonymous source added: 

“Just want to say as a comedian who came up in Philly comedy at the time Shane was blowing up, [it] was extremely discouraging! As a queer female-bodied comedian, a man using the language he did and got so much recognition for was really disheartening.”

Gillis addressed the controversy of his casting in a statement on Twitter Thursday night, saying he’d happily apologize to anyone who’s “actually offended” by his jokes.

He shared:

Gotta love it when people consider their racist humor to be “pushing boundaries.” You’re far from George Carlin, sweetie!

Either this guy does some killer impressions, or the bar for getting cast on SNL is pretty low these days. What do U think?

[Image via Twitter]

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