I have to be honest, I am baffled that we are discussing Shane Gillis’s firing from SNL as if it is some kind of moral or free speech issue. 1) Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences, no one is arresting Gillis for what he said but his private employer chose to fire him, which is their prerogative and also totally fair because 2) HE USED PEJORATIVE SLURS. Please point me to the job where you could call a co-worker a racial or sexual slur and remain employed? I am so confused that the entire framing of the Shane Gillis situation is that this is a case of jokes gone wrong. He wasn’t telling jokes, but more importantly, there is just no place for that kind of language in a healthy work environment. It would get you fired anywhere, stop acting like we hurt Shane Gillis’s fee-fees by holding him to the same standard as literally every other employed person.
Also, I guess we now have to go through the rigamarole of asking every other comedian about Shane Gillis, because Bill Hader, directly after winning an Emmy for Barry, got asked about Gillis backstage in the press room:
“I have no thoughts on that,” Hader said, before adding the following thoughts, “I feel like you shouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Especially in comedy, you do stuff six or seven years ago that wouldn’t be okay now for good reason, so I only speak for myself but, like anybody, you have to grow. I think it’s a good thing. I’m never interested in upsetting anybody.”
I wonder if “six or seven years ago” is a reference to Stefon, Hader’s most popular SNL character—I enjoy Stefon but give me a Bill Hader gameshow host any day of the week—but also a character who constantly made fun of little people. There are lines in Stefon’s sketches that, frankly, weren’t cool in 2012, but now we’re all on the same page about those jokes being in bad taste. Interesting that Hader says he isn’t “interested in upsetting anybody”. Instead of asking about Shane Gillis, let’s ask if Hader always felt that way or if this is something he’s learned in the ensuing years. I don’t mean this to bag on Bill Hader, I am just interested in his growth process. Did he think those Stefon jokes were bad back then? Or has he come to realize it in the years since? If so, what was the impetus to change? Bill Hader’s journey as a comedian is way more interesting than talking about Shane Gillis, who does not merit all the extra spotlight he’s getting for being garbage.