And while Gillis had the opportunity to apologize or admit an error in his thinking, he instead claimed:
"My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks."
In light of Gillis' reaction and public outcry, the powers that be at SNL decided Gillis was not quite ready for the "not ready for primetime" players.
Now, former SNL cast member Rob Schneider is speaking out to slam the show and lament the current culture of "unforgiveness" that he believes would not have been an issue in past years.
Taking to Twitter on Monday evening following the news of Gillis's ouster, Schneider wrote to Gillis:
"As a former SNL cast member I am sorry that you had the misfortune of being a cast member during this era of cultural unforgiveness where comedic misfires are subject to the intolerable inquisition of those who never risked bombing on stage themselves."
Schneider 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."
Gillis's firing has been the topic of debate since it was discovered that he had recently used racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language in his comedy as recently as May 2019 when he referred to Andrew Yang as a "Jew Ch**k."
There were some who agreed with Schneider's takedown of "cancel culture."
David Spade, another former SNL cast member, also discussed the controversy on his Comedy Central show Lights Out with David Spade alongside comedians Bill Burr and Jim Jefferies.
While Spade opted out of the conversation, Jefferies did not, saying:
"This is just canceled culture. The guy shouldn't have been fired."
"Are we going to get rid of every sketch that 'SNL' has done that involves race? I remember John Belushi dressing as an Asian man with a samurai sword. That was the whole sketch."
Burr then chimed in:
"We're not running for office. When is this going to f**king end? You f**king millennials, you're a bunch of rats."
Bill Burr and Jim Jefferies Weigh In on SNL Firing Shane Gillis - Lights Out with David Spade youtu.be
But not everyone was on board with that assessment.
Schneider—like lots of other people who were not the target of Gillis' racism, homophobia or misogyny—expressed opinions about giving Gillis a free pass.
But those who were the target are a bit less forgiving of someone who has not apologized or stated there was anything wrong with his repeated use of slurs.
Schneider later attempted to clarify his position, noting that "it's not okay to say racist things under the guise of comedy."
It's unclear if Schneider actually had a change of heart, or if he was just worried that he'd meet the same fate as Gillis, but it certainly left heads spinning.
As for Gillis, he's reportedly planning to sit down with Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, who Gillis referred to as a "Jew ch**k" in May of this year.
This year, not decades ago.
Listen to the first four episodes of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!' where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
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