When Saturday Night Live announced its new cast members, I, along with many other Asian Americans, were proud to see Bowen Yang joining the cast and excited to be represented on such a big show. But celebrations of Yang’s success were overshadowed by footage of Shane Gillis — another new SNL hire — and his past racist comments. As an Asian in the U.S., I’m used to experiencing and witnessing racism and microaggressions; that wasn’t what was so upsetting to me about this case. What was upsetting was Gillis’ half-hearted Twitter apology and the immature way he handled being fired. Let’s get one thing straight: using racial stereotypes as the base of comedy is not pushing boundaries, nor is it funny. Calling people “chinks” and saying it’s annoying when Chinese people try to learn and speak English is not a risk he was taking for comedy — it’s racist. He said he was “happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended,” showing that he genuinely believed that what he did was simply edgy, rather than offensive and racist. He’s not a martyr of comedy who sacrificed his innocent self for a larger cause. He might respect SNL’s decision to remove… Read full this story
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