Advocacy group MANAA demands apology from Shane Gillis ahead of ‘SNL’ hosting

Advocacy group MANAA demands apology from Shane Gillis ahead of ‘SNL’ hosting
via IdeateTV. Theo Von
Ryan General
February 16, 2024
The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), an advocacy group fighting for balanced portrayals of Asian Americans in the media, is demanding an apology and rectifying action from Shane Gillis prior to his hosting of “Saturday Night Live” (“SNL”) on Feb. 24.
Driving the news: In 2019, videos surfaced of Gillis using an anti-Asian slur — “f*cking ch*nks” — and making derogatory remarks about Asian people during an appearance on “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast” in the previous year.
“Damn, Chinatown’s f*cking nuts. It’s crazy,” Gillis said in part in the video. “It is full f*cking China, dude. It’s f*cking Chi-nee down there.”
Gillis also used the n-word, homophobic slurs and antisemitic language in his comedy routines. The backlash from the videos led to his dismissal from “SNL.”
In a statement at the time, Gillis defended his remarks as taking risks and pushing “boundaries.”
“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. 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.”
Call for action: According to MANAA, Gillis needs to make a sincere apology for his past remarks and acknowledge the harm they caused. The group also wants him to take action to demonstrate genuine understanding and respect for the Asian American community.
“In the week and a half since Gillis’ hosting gig was announced, he has yet to adequately apologize for the Asian slurs that prevented him from becoming a cast member in 2019,” MANAA Founding President Guy Aoki said, as per The Rafu Shimpo. “Has he changed since then? How? Many in the Asian American and gay communities he slandered remember and are insulted that SNL and NBC believe he can host the show without rectifying outstanding matters first.”
MANAA went on to stress their disappointment in “SNL” and NBC for allowing Gillis to “sneak in through the back door.”

“Is Gillis even that big a star to deserve a hosting slot on SNL in the first place? He may’ve had a Netflix special. But he’s certainly no household name like Michelle Yeoh, who became the first Asian woman ever to win the Best actress Oscar last year. How about Ken Jeong, Ali Wong, Randall Park, Steven Yeun, Ke Huy Quan or John Cho? It wasn’t until the fall of 2019 (ironically, the same time Gillis was to debut) that the show hired an Asian American cast member in Bowen Yang.”

More backlash: Gillis’ upcoming hosting at “SNL” has sparked outrage among other Asian American organizations. The Asian American Federation and The Asian American Foundation previously denounced his past behavior and demanded a “genuine” apology. This could involve donating to anti-hate organizations or participating in cultural experiences.
“Shane getting tapped to host is bad timing, considering the Asian community has been devastated by a wave of hate that started during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jo-Ann Yoo, the executive director of The Asian American Federation told TMZ. “People in the community don’t need to be reminded of the type of rhetoric that caused that trend.”
“Asian Americans are not the punchline of a joke,” The Asian American Foundation CEO Norman Chen stated. “While these jokes may result in cheap laughs, they also result in real-world, deadly consequences for Asian Americans.”
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