Last year, Saturday Night Live hired three new cast members, including Shane Gillis. However, after it was revealed that Gillis had a history of using racial and homophobic slurs, executive producer Lorne Michaels fired the comedian from SNL. Now, NBC’s Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy is opening up about Gillis’ firing from Saturday Night Live. Asked about the controversy and whether he'd had a conversation with Michaels about "vetting" in the aftermath of what happened, here’s what Telegdy had to say:
Paul Telegdy spoke about the controversial incident during the Television Critics Association’s NBC panel. The chairman addressed vetting practices after NBC and Saturday Night Live, which recently saw the return of Eddie Murphy, came under fire last year for not having researched Shane Gillis prior to hiring him.
Paul Telegdy also discussed the lessons NBC executives and Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels learned from all of this. Telegdy was confident that holding people responsible was key and he’s encouraged by the way the situation was handled by everyone at NBC.
Shane Gillis was announced as a new cast member in September of 2019, but was fired just days later after past controversial comments, including an Asian slur during an episode of his podcast Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast, came to light. At the time of his firing, a statement from Saturday Night Live’s spokesperson (via Variety) apologized that the “vetting process was not up to our standard.”
Saturday Night Live will return with new episodes on January 24 at 11:35 p.m. ET. For more on what to watch, be sure to check out our 2020 midseason schedule.
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