Andrew Yang has responded to a racist slur directed at him by new Saturday Night Live cast member Shane Gillis. Yang on Saturday tweeted that he doesn’t think the newly-hired comedian should be fired, despite the many calls for NBC to do so. “For the record, I do not think he should lose his job,” the Democratic presidential candidate wrote on Twitter. “We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.” During an appearance on the podcast Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast, the comedian made derogatory remarks about Asians, saying: “Chinatown’s (expletive) nuts. Let the (expletive) live there.” Then in May of this year, on a separate appearance on the Real Ass Podcast, Gillis called Yang a “Jew c---k.”
Gillis has since issued a statement about his remarks on Twitter, writing: “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. ... I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.” Yang shared Gillis’ statement on Twitter, and said he prefers “comedy that makes people think and doesn’t take cheap shots” but is “happy to sit down and talk with you if you’d like.” Gillis’ hiring on SNL came with the announcement that comedian Bowen Yang would also join the cast, becoming the first East Asian cast member in the show’s history.