The internet was left scratching its head after Saturday Night Live announced its next host.
The longstanding late-night comedy sketch series recently revealed that comedian Shane Gillis would be hosting on February 24 with rapper 21 Savage as the musical guest. Nothing out of the ordinary for an advanced hosting notice, with the exception of the fact that Gillis was once hired by SNL and then fired for a slew of racist, homophobic, and ableist remarks.
Entertainment with an edgeWhether you’re into indie comics, groundbreaking music, or queer cinema, we’re here to keep you in the loop twice a week.
Gillis, Chloe Fineman, and Bowen Yang (the cast’s first gay full-time member of East Asian descent) were all expected to join SNL‘s main cast in 2019, until Gillis’ remarks resurfaced online. Gillis used racial, ableist, and homophobic slurs and made misognystic and Islamaphobic comments on his podcast Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.
SNL issued a statement a week after the comments resurfaced, revealing that Gillis would not be joining the cast and apologized stating “our vetting process was not up to our standard.” Gillis issued his own statement saying that he respected the decision and was a “Mad TV guy anyway.”
The beer brand is partnering with SNL reject Shane Gillis in a mystifying PR move…
Since then, Gillis has since had a recurring role on the Peacock show Bupkis (alongside SNL alum Pete Davidson), released two stand up comedy specials (one with YouTube and another with Netflix), and has made controversial appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Did we mention he’s now partnered with Bud Light after their partnership (of lack thereof) with trans content creator Dylan Mulvaney?
So now why is he hosting SNL, especially when there are several queer cast members?
SNL current queer cast includes, Yang, Punkie Johnson (the first out Black lesbian cast member), and Molly Kearney (the first out nonbinary cast member) and the show’s material has become noticeably queerer.
Just when we thought we couldn’t love him more…
However, that unfortunately comes with bringing on some problematic guests. Recently, transphobic comedian Dave Chappelle joined the cast’s closing remarks onstage during the Dakota Johnson-hosted episode, a moment in which cast member Yang was noticeably upset by. Not to mention, controversial Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley joined the Ayo Edebiri-hosted episode during the show’s cold open.
Additionally, Gillis wouldn’t be the first fired cast member to return as Norm MacDonald (an SNL cast member from 1993-1998) was let go from the series in 1998 and returned to host multiple times afterwards. So Gillis’ hosting announcement isn’t unprecedented, but it is the final straw for many SNL fans.
Guess we’ll see how everything unfolds on February 24.
Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...
We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock our articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?
Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated
Read More in Entertainment
The Latest on INTO
Subscribe to get a twice-weekly dose of queer news, updates, and insights from the INTO team.
in Your Inbox