A surfaced video from a 2018 episode of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast showed Gillis making racist remarks about Chinese people. “Chinatown’s f—ing nuts,” Gillis says in the clip with Matt McCusker. “Let the f—ing ch–ks live there, huh?” he says, before doing a mock Chinese accent. He later refers to the conversation as “nice racism, good racism.” On a different podcast, Gillis called then-Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang a “Jew ch–k.” (Yang forgave Gillis and invited the comic on his own podcast.) In other podcast episodes, Gillis used anti-gay slurs on multiple occasions and at one point called director Judd Apatow and comedian Chris Gethard “white f----t comics” and “f—ing gayer than ISIS.”
EW has reached out to representatives for SNL to provide clarity over the decision to invite Gillis back after previously denouncing his behavior and whether any cast or crew were consulted or informed prior to the hosting announcement on Saturday.
Gillis’ firing over the slurs only increased his popularity with the conservative anti-“woke” crowd. In the years since his failed stint on SNL, Gillis has continued to podcast and tour. His debut stand-up comedy special, released on YouTube in 2021, has 23 million views. His second special Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs landed in the Netflix Top 10 after its release last September. He also recently announced a partnership with Bud Light, following the brand receiving right-wing backlash over partnering with trans actress and activist Dylan Mulvaney.