New ‘SNL’ Cast Member Says Calling Chinese People ‘Ch*nks’ is Just ‘Pushing Boundaries’

Comedian Shane Gillis has issued a statement after generating backlash from a YouTube video of him calling Chinese people “chinks” along with many other derogatory remarks about Chinese culture.

Gillis’ racial slurs came back to haunt him immediately after he was announced as a new cast member for the upcoming season of New Saturday Night Live, alongside writer and comedian Bowen Yang, the show’s first fully East Asian cast member.

In the video, Gillis can be seen making fun of people of Chinese descent with podcast co-host Matt McCusker.

Aside from saying a racial slur against Chinese people, Gillis threw insults against waiters at Chinese restaurants. He eventually proclaimed what was obvious: “nice racism, good racism. I love to be f—ing racist.” When the clip emerged, “SNL” and NBC also came under fire for the now-controversial casting.

Gillis has since issued a statement via Twitter, justifying his comments by saying he’s a “comedian who pushes boundaries.” He also apologized to “anyone who’s actually offended” by what he said.

“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss,” wrote Gillis. “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 ever 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.”

It has become a popular opinion on social media that there was nothing remotely funny in the controversial exchange and racism is not a comedic risk.

Commenting on Gillis’ tweet, “Wu Assassins” star Lewis Tan explained how his statements can only be considered a risk if he said them near the actor.

Many in the Asian American community have responded to the controversy:

According to Vulture, Gillis has a reputation for including both racial and homophobic remarks in his stand-up comedy sets. Good Good Comedy Theatre co-owner Kate Banford expressed surprise when SNL’s casting news emerged.

“Good Good Comedy Theatre stopped working with him within the past few years because of racist, homophobic, and sexist things he’s said on and offstage,” Banford was quoted as saying.

In another video still posted to the “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast” YouTube channel as of this writing, Gillis and his co-host McCusker rank comedians by race, gender, and sexual orientation, saying “white chicks are literally at the bottom,” after the 2:20 mark.

“Ali Wong is making it so Asian chicks are funnier than white chicks.” The two co-hosts continue to disparage Ali Wong’s comedy.

Near the 12:00 mark,  Gillis and McCusker mock Judd Apatow and Chris Gethard using homophobic slurs, calling them “white f*ggot comics” and saying they are “fucking gayer than ISIS.” 


“Saturday Night Live” and NBC have yet to issue a statement regarding the controversy of their newest cast member.

Featured Image via YouTube

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: