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SNL’s New Regular Shane Gillis Apologizes After Use of Slurs Resurface

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  • Shortly after SNL announced Shane Gillis as a new show regular, the comedian faced backlash for several racist, homophobic, and sexist comments he made in old podcasts.
  • Gillis then deleted his entire library of podcasts from YouTube and issued an apology for his past jokes on Twitter, saying “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries.”

Gillis Apologizes for Previous Comments

As Saturday Night Live adds its first gay Asian American series regular to its upcoming 45th season, another new cast member is coming under fire for using both racist and homophobic slurs.

Thursday afternoon, SNL announced it was adding Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang, and Shane Gillis to its roster, the latter of which has now apologized for remarks he made in a series of podcasts posted to YouTube with fellow comedian Matt McCusker.

“Let the fucking ch***s live there,” Gillis said in a September 2018 podcast in reference to New York’s Chinatown.

In the same podcast, Gillis also refers to noodles as “nooders.”

“And the translation between you and the waiter,” Gillis said of Chinese restaurant staff, “it’s just such a fucking hassle. It’s like, can you, I’m pointing at it. Like this is the fucking nooder.”

Following the controversy, Gillis then deleted every video on his YouTube page, titled “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.” Gillis possibly deleted all videos to shield himself against further controversy; however, copies of his podcasts have circulated online. 

Later the same day of his announcement, Gillis apologized for his comments on Twitter.

“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries,” he said in the post. “I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of bad misses. I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I’m trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”

Gillis’ Past Comments

A variety of media sites and people online have uncovered a plethora of now not-so-secret podcasts, where Gillis makes a wide range of racist comments about Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern, and Jewish people. Gillis can also be heard making further homophobic and sexist comments.

In one podcast, Gillis criticizes comedian Sarah Silverman for discussing women’s rights.

Later, in the same podcast, Gillis criticized comedians who talk about their depression in their stand up routines, calling them “gay.”

“Those guys are fucking gayer than Isis,” Gillis said, then breaking into a caricatured accent. “At least Isis is out there, ‘We need to get the pussy. After we blow ourselves up, we get a bunch of pussy. These white, faggot comics they’re like, ‘I’m just sad life is hard and I’m gay.’”

In the same podcast, Gillis continues to make homophobic comments, using “faggot” and other slurs several more times.

“Stop calling me fucking gay, dude,” Gillis said in the podcast. “I ain’t no queer.”

After McCusker said he was not impressed with a Latino stand-up comedian, Gillis said he should have told the comic to go back to the Spanish-language TV station Univision.

Because of those comments like those, Kate Banford, who co-owns the Good Good Comedy Theatre, told Vulture that the theatre broke ties with Gillis over his history with slurs. 

“Good Good Comedy Theatre stopped working with him within the past few years because of racist, homophobic, and sexist things he’s said on and offstage,” she said to Vulture.

Bowen Yang’s Addition

With Yang’s addition, many media outlets originally credited him as the show’s third openly gay cast member and first since John Milhiser’s exit in 2014; however, Yang joins Kate McKinnon, who is openly gay and has been on the show since 2012.

Many other outlets also originally described Yang as the first Asian American cast member, yet both Fred Armisen, who is half-Korean and appeared on the show from 2002-2013, and Rob Schneider, who is a quarter Filipino and starred on the show in the 1990s, are of Asian descent.

Yang began his time at SNL last year during its 44th season as a writer. Yang also portrayed North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during an episode hosted by Sandra Oh. 

In recent years, SNL has come under fire for its lack of Asian cast members, with Vanity Fair reporting that the skit comedy show has featured so few Asian actors that it, at times, has used its production designer Akira Yoshimura to play Sulu from Star Trek. Yoshimura first appeared on the show in 1976 and has appeared as recently as 2017.

See what others are saying: (Washington Post) (NBC News) (Indie Wire)

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Carey Mulligan Responds To Variety’s Apology After Its Review Criticized Her Looks

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  • Actress Carey Mulligan criticized Variety’s review of “Promising Young Woman” for taking jabs at her appearance and suggesting Margot Robbie would have looked better in the role.
  • Variety issued an apology in response, which Mulligan said she was both surprised and happy to receive.
  • During a Variety Actors on Actors conversation Tuesday, Mulligan noted that it was “nerve-racking” to go after such a major publication. Still, she feels it’s important to call out this type of behavior otherwise people will continue to accept criticism of a woman’s looks as valid.

Carey Mulligan Calls Out Variety Review

Actress Carey Mulligan has accepted Variety’s apology for language used in its review of her film, “Promising Young Woman,” which criticized her physical appearance.

“Mulligan, a fine actress, seems a bit of an odd choice as this admittedly many-layered apparent femme fatale,” Dennis Harvey wrote in his review after the film screened at Sundance in January 2020.

“Margot Robbie is a producer here, and one can (perhaps too easily) imagine the role might once have been intended for her. Whereas with this star, Cassie wears her pickup-bait gear like bad drag; even her long blonde hair seems a put-on,” he continued.

Mulligan read the review and told the New York Times in December that it shocked her. 

“It felt like it was basically saying that I wasn’t hot enough to pull off this kind of ruse,” she explained.

“It wasn’t some sort of ego-wounding thing — like, I fully can see that Margot Robbie is a goddess,” she continued. “It drove me so crazy. I was like, ‘Really? For this film, you’re going to write something that is so transparent? Now? In 2020?’ I just couldn’t believe it.”

“Promising Young Woman” deals heavily with the male gaze and societal expectations for women. The film contains many spoilers and twists, however, it starts by following Mulligan’s character, Cassie, as she struggles with past traumas and attempts to heal them by seeking vengeance on men who take advantage of women at bars.

The film takes the playful frills of femininity and underscores them with tragedy and dark humor. One of its most powerful themes warns that even the smallest transgressions from seemingly harmless men can ultimately signal something very dangerous. 

Mulligan’s performance, which is getting praised and could land her an Oscar nomination, specifically works to deconstruct the way men treat and expoloit women. 

“We don’t allow women to look normal anymore, or like a real person. Why does every woman who’s ever onscreen have to look like a supermodel?” Mulligan added in her interview with the Times. “That has shifted into something where the expectation of beauty and perfection onscreen has gotten completely out of control.”

Variety Apologizes

Variety ended up agreeing with the star’s frustrations and added an editor’s note to their review apologizing for some of its language.

“Variety sincerely apologizes to Carey Mulligan and regrets the insensitive language and insinuation in our review of “Promising Young Woman” that minimized her daring performance,” the note says.

On Tuesday, Mulligan appeared on Variety’s Actors on Actors series in a conversation with “Euphoria” actress Zendaya. She addressed the outlet’s apology during their chat. 

“It made me concerned that in such a big publication an actress’s appearance could be criticized and it could be accepted as completely reasonable criticism. And I think it’s important to call out those things,” Mulligan said. 

“It’s sort of nerve-racking to rock the boat with a big publication,” she continued. “But at the same time, it feels like, you know, you’ve got to stand up for these things. Otherwise, it continues and then you’re essentially part of it. So I was really, really surprised and thrilled, and happy to have received an apology.” 

In an excerpt that was cut from the video but published by Variety, she said it was moving to “have drawn a line under that in a good way, and know that that had an impact in a way.”

See what others are saying: (Variety) (Los Angeles Times) (People)

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Amanda Gorman Joins Super Bowl Pregame Festivities, Signs With IMG Models

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  • Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old Harvard graduate who moved the nation with her poem at President Biden’s inauguration, will now recite a new poem during Super Bowl LV’s pregame show.
  • The poem will recognize honorary game captains chosen by the NFL, including Los Angeles teacher Trimaine Davis, Tampa nurse Suzie Dorner, and Marine veteran James Martin.
  • This announcement follows news that Gorman signed a contract with IMG Models, which will reportedly focus on brand endorsements and editorial opportunities for her.

Inaugural Poet To Perform Before Super Bowl

Amanda Gorman is the 22-year-old Harvard grad who moved the nation with her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration.

Since then, she’s earned widespread praise from both political figures and celebrities, including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, notorious playright Lin-Manuel Miranda, and dozens of others.

Almost immediately after her words went viral, Gorman saw a huge wave of new followers on social media. Her books even became Amazon sellers despite the fact that they wont be released for several more months.

Praise for the rising poet isn’t expecting to stop anytime soon. In fact, Good Morning America announced Wednesday that Gorman will be taking part in Super Bowl LV as part of its pregame show.

She will reportedly recite another poem that recognizes honorary game captains chosen by the NFL, including Los Angeles teacher Trimaine Davis, Tampa nurse Suzie Dorner, and Marine veteran James Martin, according to Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith.

Gorman Signs With IMG Models

Her participation in the Super Bowl preshow follows news that Gorman signed a contract with IMG Models, which represents major fashion stars like Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the agency will focus on brand endorsements and editorial opportunities for the Harvard grad.

Model Gigi Hadid was quick to congratulate Gorman on the deal, posting the news to her Instagram Story with the caption, “WERK @AMANDASCGORMAN @IMGMODELS FAAAAAAM ! MAJOR.”

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (CNN) (Good Morning America)

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Kellyanne Conway Accused of Posting Topless Photo of Her Underage Daughter

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  • A topless photo of Kellyanne Conway’s 16-year-old daughter Claudia was shared as a Fleet on the former Trump counselor’s Twitter page Monday.
  • Claudia later confirmed that the photo was of her but claimed she never sent it to anyone. She said she believes her mother made a copy of the photo after confiscating her phone in the past.
  • The incident sparked a new wave of concern for the teen, who has repeatedly accused her parents of abuse and unsuccessfully filed for emancipation last year.
  • Claudia changed her tone in a new statement Tuesday, suggesting that her mother would never post such a photo of her online, though some fear her comments may have been recorded by force.

Conway’s Account Posts Nude Photo

Kellyanne Conway, an ex-counselor to former President Donald Trump, is facing intense backlash after a topless photo of her underage daughter Claudia was shared on the elder Conway’s Twitter account Monday.

The photo was posted as Twitter Fleet, which is analogous to Instagram and Snapchat’s 24-hour stories features. It has since been deleted; however, before its removal, it was easily accessible to all of Twitter. Even now, it still exists in the form of screen captures.

After the photo was initially shared, Claudia took to TikTok to confirm that the picture was, in fact, of her.

“The picture’s from months ago, and I’m assuming when my mom took my phone… she took a picture of that, so that was on her phone, and I guess she accidentally posted or somebody hacked her but nobody would ever have any photo like that, ever,” Claudia said, noting that she had never sent the photo to anyone.

Claudia went a step further and accused Kellyanne of keeping the photo to one day use against her. 

Notably, on Tuesday, Claudia adopted a much different tone in another series of TikToks.

This isn’t force,” she said. “This is coming completely from me: Claudia. I have faith and I know that my mother would never put something like that on the internet, as well as me. We would never do that. My mom and I, we fight like mothers and daughters, but we also love like mothers and daughters, and I do love her. I will be taking a break from social media because we are really tired of being [featured in] headlines.’

Shortly after that video was posted, a number of people online pointed out that recently, Claudia said she wouldn’t leave social media on her own accord. Because of that, many think she was forced to record the message.

Conway Accused of Posting Child Porn

Online, many have accused Kellyanne of posting child pornography. 

Many have also reignited conversations of emancipation for Claudia, something the teen unsuccessfully pushed for last year. 

The posting of this photo comes one week after Claudia posted now-deleted TikToks that appear to show Kellyanne physically and verbally abusing her.

In one of those videos, a woman who seems to be Kellyanne can be heard screaming at Claudia while hurling a barrage of explicit insults at the girl. Other moments appear to depict Kellyanne throwing things at Claudia and even hitting her. In one, Claudia is crying and seems to be trying to ask Kellyanne to stop but is unable to get a word in. 

The New York Post reportedly reached Kellyanne by phone Tuesday morning for a statement about the incident. “We have no comment,” she told the outlet while also noting that she was “sitting here with Claudia.”

According to Variety, Twitter is investigating the matter. It is still unknown whether Kellyanne posted the photo herself or if her phone was hacked.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (New York Post) (Vulture)

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