- Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang weighed in Saturday on racist remarks from one of “Saturday Night Live’s” new cast members.
- The comedian Shane Gillis previously used racial slurs and mocked Asians, and released a statement on Thursday saying he was “happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended.”
- Yang denounced the comments as “cheap shots” but said he didn’t believe Gillis should be fired. He added that people should be more forgiving.
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Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang weighed in Saturday on the growing controversy over a new “Saturday Night Live” cast member’s racist remarks.
The sketch-comedy show announced Thursday it had hired Shane Gillis, whose recent racial slurs and disparaging remarks about Asians quickly drew backlash online.
Gillis released a statement that same day saying he was “happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended” by his remarks, and said he was a comedian “who pushes boundaries” and sometimes misses the mark.
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 13, 2019
On Saturday, Yang reached out via Twitter with an offer to speak with Gillis. He added that he didn’t believe the comedian should be fired from the show, and that he should be treated with forgiveness.
“Shane – I prefer comedy that makes people think and doesn’t take cheap shots. But I’m happy to sit down and talk with you if you’d like,” he tweeted.
“For the record, I do not think he should lose his job. We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.”
For the record, I do not think he should lose his job. We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 14, 2019
Yang, who is of Taiwanese descent, has often spoken with pride on the campaign trail about his Asian heritage. He also frequently makes use of common stereotypes, poking fun at himself as an “Asian man who likes math” and joking during last week’s debate about knowing a lot of doctors.
Yang is one of three Asian-American and Pacific Islanders running for president – the others are Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
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