Comedian Norm Macdonald Blasts Firing Of New SNL Cast Member Over Jokes: ‘This Means WAR’
Norm Macdonald is a funny man, but he takes some things very, very seriously.
Like censorship. Macdonald has long advocated for the rights of comedians to joke about nearly everything (if not literally everything). And he’s pretty much fed up with all the political correctness that’s killing comedy, which has always been about walking on the edge.
Take Shane Gillis. He was hired by “Saturday Night Live,” but promptly fired after old comments surfaced.
Macdonald jumped into the fray on Monday, declaring “WAR.”
“Of course you know, this means WAR,” Macdonald wrote on Twitter, including a link to a story about Gillis’s firing. Macdonald even pinned the tweet to the top of his feed.
of course you know, this means WAR. https://t.co/GMv8xNuvwx
— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) September 17, 2019
Macdonald also sought to get directly in touch with Gillis. “Hey, Shane, I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine how you must feel,” he wrote.
“The work it takes to get that show and to have it snatched away by some guy who does ‘Spoken Bird’ poetry,” he continued, referring to Seth Simons, a writer who first posted Gillis’s past comments. “Unacceptable. 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 and to have it snatched away by some guy who does “Spoken Bird” poetry. Unacceptable. Please DM me, pal, when you have a moment. I’m so sorry.
— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) September 16, 2019
A now-viral video posted by Simons showed Gillis on a podcast called “Matthew and Shane’s Secret Podcast.” On the show, Gillis mocked 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, using a mocking Asian voice and calling him a “Jew chink.” In another episode of the podcast, he used gay slurs to criticize comedians he doesn’t think are funny.
A “Saturday Night Live” spokesman released a statement Monday announcing that Gillis had been fired.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining ‘SNL,'” the statement 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 statement said SNL was “not aware of [Gillis’] 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,” the statement said.
Gillis doesn’t appear to be heartbroken and said it “feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements.”
“I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get ‘SNL.’ That can’t be taken away,” he wrote. “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 guy anyway,” Gillis joked, referring to a far funnier show than SNL.
Before he was fired, Gillis offered to apologize to anyone offended by his comedy,. which he acknowledged sometimes missed badly.
I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss,” Gillis said on Friday. “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.”
“My intention is never to hurt anyone, but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks,” he said.