SNL Fires New Cast Member Shane Gillis Over Racist Asian Jokes

Hey guys, before everyone piles on to the shame train, let’s just take a step back. Before everyone just trashes this guy, it’s important to think about where he’s from.

Dude grew up in a place called Mechanicsburg, PA, which has a population of about 9,000, and is basically 97% white, 0.28% Asian, at least as of the last census. So... that’s like 30 Asian people total, at least as of the year 2000 (when he would have been growing up).

The nearest city was Harrisburg, PA, which has a population of about 50,000, only 3.5% Asian. This is where he lived and built his stand-up career. Also, a quick survey of Yelp implies that their Chinese food may actually... or be that great. And that’s what this guy knows.

I’m not wholly trying to excuse the guy - he went to Temple for college and that’s actually a pretty diverse place by US college standards. Philly us also a real city, so he would have had all the opportunity in the world to have done a bit of exploration there. Doesn’t mean he took it though.

So it’s not surprising to me that a guy that basically grew up in a nearly all white setting with limited exposure to Asians doesn’t really know much about them. Moreover, based on what he was surrounded by, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a whole cast of people around him that shared those views and enabled him to think that way without repercussions. I don’t think this dude is legit trying to hate/shit on Chinese people. I just don’t think he knows any better. So my vote would be to let him be and not try to make a shitty situation for him worse by having the whole Internet crap all over him.

Last point though, those really were some pretty weak ass attempts at jokes. No structure, no timing, no punchlines. Racist or not, if he’s treating comedy as a profession, then his work is lazy af.

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