Why Late-Night Comedy Is Under More Scrutiny Than Ever Before

Variety | 9/17/2019 | Brian Steinberg
Click For Photo: https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/snl-cast.jpg?w=700&h=393&crop=1

Late-night tv viewing is getting significantly more intense.

In an era when audiences have become increasingly polarized by politics and their viewing habits have been fragmented by a dizzying array of streaming-video technologies, TV’s growing spate of late-night programs face new challenges. What’s funny to one crowd can be offensive to another. And with the internet and social media serving as universally accessible archives for a comic’s work, offensive statements can spark mass outcry long after they were initially made.

NBC - Saturday - Night - Live - Monday

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” on Monday reversed course on hiring Shane Gillis as a new cast member four days after racist remarks made by the comedian prompted protest. Gillis’ comments, delivered in a podcast, were resurfaced Sept. 12 by freelance journalist Seth Simons. “Let the f—ing ch–ks live there,” Gillis is heard to say in one episode about Chinatown. Though he and fellow comic Matt McCusker deleted the bulk of their “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast” library from YouTube later that day, a review of the material by Variety prior to its removal found that Gillis has an established history of making racist, sexist, homophobic and ableist remarks. In a 2016 interview with the Philadelphia news site Billy Penn, Gillis said that when deciding what jokes work with his audience, “you can be racist to Asians. That’s what we’re finding out.”

Shane Gillis Out From 'Saturday Night Live'

Statement - Monday - SNL - Exec - Producer

In a statement Monday on “SNL” exec producer Lorne Michaels’ behalf, an NBC spokesperson said: “The language [Gillis] used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.” In his own statement posted to Twitter minutes after NBC announced that it had parted ways with him, Gillis wrote: “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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