SNL Finally Added An Asian-American Cast Member For Season 45

Carla Harmon
September 13, 2019

The announcement of three new regulars for Saturday Night Live, including the first Asian-American cast member, has been eclipsed by an old YouTube video that surfaced in which one of them made a racial slur against Asians.

Fineman and Gillis were both named New Faces at the Just Laughs Festival in Montreal in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Leslie Jones will be leaving the show after five seasons on the show.


Chloe Fineman, Shane Gillis and Bowen Yang join this season according to an NBC press release, and a tweet from the show's official account. Yang is one half of the runaway hit podcast Las Culturistas which has become a genuine cultural phenomenon.

The show is back September 28 with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish and returning comedians including Beck Bennett, Pete Davidson and Colin Jost. The writer/performer popped up on Saturday Night Live a year ago as Kim-Jong un in a sketch with host Sandra Oh. Chloe has some skills in the impressions area and has acting credits that include "Search Party" and "Jane the Virgin".


In a clip (embedded below) from "Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast", dated September 2018 and brought to light on Twitter by freelance writer Seth Simons, Gillis refers to "the f-king ch-nks" while riffing with cohost Matt McCusker on Chinatown's architecture and restaurants. Lorne Michaels is the creator and executive producer.

NBC nor Gillis has replied to Variety's request for comment.


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