NBC’s late-night sketch staple “Saturday Night Live” added three new cast members to the lineup ahead of the show’s upcoming 45th season. The show announced the additions of Chloe Fineman, Shane Gillis and Bowen Yang as featured players.
Fineman was a New Face at the 2018 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and has been a regular performer at the Groundlings. Gillis was recently recognized as a New Face at the 2019 Just for Laughs Festival.
Yang joined “SNL” as a staff writer last season and is co-host of the “Las Culturistas” podcast. Yang is the show’s first full-time Asian-American cast member, according to media reports.
But according to The Hollywood Reporter, the selection of Gillis is already receiving some blowback. THR reports that Gillis “is seen using a racial slur in a since-deleted video on a YouTube channel called ‘Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.'”
THR quotes Gillis saying in the video: “Chinatown’s fucking nuts. Let the fucking ch—s live there.”
THR adds: “Original audio of the Sept. 26, 2018, podcast and the YouTube video has since been deleted. Freelance writer and editor Seth Simons shared a clip on his Twitter account. Gillis also discusses Chinese restaurants in the video, saying, ‘The translation between you and the waiter is just such a fucking hassle.'”
You can see the tweet from Simons below, with the warning that it includes coarse language.
“SNL” premieres Sept. 28 with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.
“Saturday Night Live” is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.
today SNL announced the hiring of its first cast member of East Asian descent, and also this guy pic.twitter.com/0FAGJZJUkK
— Seth Simons (@sasimons) September 12, 2019