After the sort of day that pretty much no one could have seen coming—except, presumably, stand-up comic and recent Saturday Night Live hire Shane Gillis, who apparently attempted to scrub large swathes of his podcast, containing off-color, racist, and homophobic comments, before taking the high-profile gig—it’s typically a time for reflection. You know: Put your feet up, crack open a cold one, and relax with the classics. Like the old “I’m sorry you feel offended” apology, a stone-cold fixture of the faux apology field.
And indeed, that’s what formerly Philly-based stand-up Gillis did tonight, responding to an evening of being barraged with his own admittedly pretty toxic words by issuing one of those “pictures of a Notes page” statements on Twitter, the kind that rarely mean things are going well. While attempting to distance himself from the contents of his podcast with a note about digging through “10 years” of his comedy—the most obviously objectionable material, including a racial slur against Asian people, was posted less than a year ago, mind you—Gillis also offered a heartfelt apology to “anyone who was actually offended.” (As with so much shitty male discourse on the internet, the load-bearing kind of “actually” is key.)
Both NBC and Saturday Night Live have so far declined to comment on this whole clusterfuck, even though one could easily assume that even a mild vetting process would have seen it all coming (Per a piece on him by Vulture, Gillis’ choice of language is well-known in the Philadelphia comedy scene.) It’s all especially irritating in that it takes away focus from the other two performers who joined the show’s cast today, Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman—both of whom are up 1-0 over their new colleague on the all-important “Twitter screenshot essay” count of social media screw-ups.