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Video surfaces of new 'SNL' cast member using Asian slur on same day show casts Asian American

Shane Gillis said late Thursday that it is never his intention to hurt anyone, but that he does aim to push boundaries.
Image: Shane Gillis
Shane Gillis performs onstage at the 2019 Clusterfest in San Francisco, California on June 21, 2019.Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic for Clusterfest via Getty Images

A video of newly cast "Saturday Night Live" member Shane Gillis making racial and homophobic jokes surfaced online Thursday, the same day the show was lauded for casting its first openly gay Asian American comedian.

A Twitter user named Seth Simons shared a clip of a video, taken from a now-deleted YouTube post from September 2018 — a video recording of Gillis' podcast, "Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast" — where the comedian can be heard referring to Asians by a racial slur.

The video on the “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast” YouTube channel was seen by NBC News before it was removed. The page, established in 2017, is now completely empty and has no content.

While talking about the origins of Chinatown with his co-host Matt McCusker, Gillis said when the area was built people said, "Let the f------ ch---- live there."

Late Thursday in a statement posted online, Gillis said that as a comedian he pushes boundaries and sometimes misses. While the statement did not address the video, Gillis did say he does not aim to be hurtful.

"I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said," he wrote. "My intention is never to hurt anyone but I'm trying to to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.

"Saturday Night Live" made headlines earlier Thursday for the announcement that Bowen Yang was also cast for the show's 45th season, making Yang the first openly gay Asian American on staff.

The video also included impressions of Asian accents and the use of the word "nooders" instead of noodles. Gillis and McCusker also did a segment on which Asian country was "number one," which led to a discussion of Asian women.

McCusker said that "Southeast Asian women take the cake" in terms of which women are the most beautiful.

"You like ladyboys?" Gillis asked.

"No I don’t love ladyboys," McCusker said. "That’s one thing I can’t party with dude."

"You can’t party with ladyboys?" Gillis said. "I bet you can."

Gillis then goes on to joke that listeners should donate to the podcast's Patreon, a membership platform where fans can subscribe to content, so that he can take McCusker to Thailand. The two then make jokes about performing fellatio on a young boy.

"Saturday Night Live" airs on NBC, a division of NBCUniversal, which is also the parent company of NBC News.

Neither the show nor Gillis has responded to a request for comment from NBC News. McCusker has also not responded to a request from NBC News.

Sirius XM, where the show was also broadcast, did not respond to a request for comment from NBC News.