Here's a capsule version of the controversy tornado that swept away comedian Shane Gillis, whose Oct. 29-Nov. 2 run at Minneapolis' Acme Comedy Co. has been canceled, much like the man himself.
Gillis, a standup comedian from New York City via Philadelphia, was named to Saturday Night Live's cast on Sept. 12. Within hours, clips surfaced of Gillis making racist, homophobic, and sexist comments on podcasts. “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries… I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said,” he tweeted Sept. 13 in a maybe, sorta, kinda apology. SNL canned him Monday; Gillis tweeted that he "respects" the decision, adding that he "was always a MAD TV guy anyway."
"We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show ..." an SNL spokesperson said on behalf of creator Lorne Michaels, who reportedly hired Gillis as an olive branch to right-wing viewers. "The language [Gillis] used is offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard."
A cottage industry of hot takes quickly emerged, both in support and/or in condemnation of the so-called "cancel culture" that held Gillis accountable and/or unfairly railroaded him, depending on who you ask.
Acme booked Gillis back in July and removed the dates from its website on Wednesday.
"As of today, Shane’s representation and Acme have mutually agreed that, due to recent events, it is not the best time for Shane to be touring right now," Acme general manager Derick Johnson tells us. "There were no hard feelings on either side of the cancelation."
The 45th season of SNL kicks off Sept. 28 with host Woody Harrelson and music guest Billie Eilish; Minneapolis-launched superstar Lizzo maybe, sorta, kinda hinted that she'll make her debut on Dec. 21 alongside host Eddie Murphy.