Kenan Thompson On 'SNL' Firing Shane Gillis Due To Racist, Homophobic Remarks: 'It's Touchy Out There'
Photo Credit: Ilya S. Savenok
News , Television

Kenan Thompson On 'SNL' Firing Shane Gillis Due To Racist, Homophobic Remarks: 'It's Touchy Out There'

Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson spoke about a variety of topics at Sunday’s New Yorker Festival, including the hiring of comedian Shane Gillis, as well as his immediate firing due to his past racist jokes.

According to Deadline, Thompson called the current climate for comedians “woke times,” saying, “It’s very touchy out there.”

Deadline paraphrased him as saying that “the job of all comedians has fundamentally shifted” after the 2016 presidential election.

“It’s interesting to see things like that happen, whatever side of the argument you’re on,” he commented. “I don’t think any of us who work there go out with the intent to offend people or hurt anyone’s feelings. Matching with that ideology, that’s the brand [SNL producers and NBC] want to keep alive.”

He also revisited some controversial remarks he made in 2013 to TV Guide about SNL producers having trouble finding Black female comedians. At the time, he was quoted as saying, “They never find ones that are ready.” However, he said during the Sunday event that he was referring to the lack of representation in sketch comedy as a whole, particularly within troupes like The Groundlings.

“The closest experience to doing [SNL] is in these improv houses, and the numbers are not like that,” he said. “And if you know that, then you know what I was trying to say. If you don’t know that, it sounds like I think, like they said, that Black women aren’t funny, which is insane. Why would I diss my sisters like that? It’s crazy.” He also said Leslie Jones, who became friends with Thompson throughout her tenure on the show, “would even echo” his opinion about sketch comedy ” to me.”

Thompson, currently the longest-running cast member on SNL, can be seen on the show Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/10:30 p.m. CT.

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Photo: Getty Images

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