Why was Shane Gillis from Netflix's Tires once fired from SNL? Controversy explained

Gillis' Strong Comeback in Comedy and Move into Tires (Image via Instagram @shanemgillis)

Shane Gillis, featured in the Netflix series Tires cast, briefly joined the 'Saturday Night Live' (SNL) in 2019. On September 12, 2019, it was announced that Shane would join SNL. Soon after the news of Shane joining SNL, there were clips from his past podcast episodes that showed him using racist and homophobic language.

The podcast called Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, which featured Shane Gillis, started in 2018. In one episode, he said,

"Damn, Chinatown’s f**cking nuts! It is full of f**cking Chi-NAH (in slight Chinese accent). Dude, f**cking Chinese down there!… The f**cking ch*nks live there, huh?… And it’s full f**ckin’ Chinee [sic] in there."

Gillis responded on Twitter, saying he didn't mean to hurt anyone. He claimed he was trying to stretch the limits of comedy.

Shane Gillis’ brief tenure and controversy at SNL

The podcast that started all the trouble had Shane using mean words about Asian people. This wasn't funny to a lot of people and hurt their feelings. When SNL learned about this, they said Shane couldn’t work with them because they don’t want people who say things like that.

This incident eventually led him to not be on the famous TV show anymore because of the derogatory words he used on his podcast.

Gillis' Response to the Controversy

Following the backlash, SNL's decision to let go of Gillis came quickly. At the time of his exit, SNL boss Lorne Michaels said:

'We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days.'"

Michaels called the language that Gillis used "offensive, hurtful and unacceptable."

Gillis responded to his firing with a statement on X post [which is no longer available], accepting and respecting SNL's decision to part ways with him. He expressed regret over the circumstances, stating:

“I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away.”

Furthermore, he noted:

“Of course, I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I'm honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always more of a MADtv guy anyways."

Gillis moves forward with Tires after SNL setback


Despite the setback, Gillis' career didn't come to a halt. He continued his journey in comedy and ventured into other projects, maintaining his presence in the entertainment industry.

Furthermore, in a remarkable turn of events, SNL invited Gillis to host the show, slated for February 24, symbolizing a significant moment of reevaluation and perhaps reconciliation.

Shane Gillis has a Netflix series called Tires. It is similar to shows by comedians like Bill Cosby and Jerry Seinfeld, who based their shows on their own comedic style. However, Tires mainly targets Gillis’s current fans instead of trying to attract new viewers.

The Tires series has six episodes, with the shortest being 18 minutes. It is a comedy that showcases Shane Gillis, known for his bold and often controversial jokes. The series seems to focus on his stand-up comedy. Netflix also got another special from him, suggesting they might be more interested in his stand-up than the sitcom style.

Read more: 5 shows to watch if you love Netflix's Tires

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