• Bowen Yang will join the cast of Saturday Night Live for its 45th season. (FilmMagic)Source: FilmMagic
Bowen Yang is also the host of gay comedy podcast Las Culturistas.
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

13 Sep 2019 - 10:49 AM  UPDATED 13 Sep 2019 - 10:51 AM

Longtime comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live has introduced three new cast members for its 45th season - and it includes she show's first full-time cast member from an Asian background, Bowen Yang.

Yang, an LA-based comedian whose parents are from China, is known by members of the LGBTIQ+ community for his work as the co-host of gay comedy podcast Las Culturistas, as well as for a series of hilarious lip-sync videos to dramatic monologues.

Yang, who has worked with Drag Race stars including Alaska and Jinkx Monsoon, was flooded with messages of congratulations from celebrities on social media.

"Wow. Congrats to @bowenyang on joining the cast of SNL," Roxane Gay tweeted. "That’s really exciting."

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon added: “OMG YES YES YES!"

It wasn't all celebration, though.

Comedian Shane Gillis, who was also announced as a new cast member, is facing renewed scrutiny over racial slurs he made on a YouTube video in 2018.

Posted to a YouTube channel called 'Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast', the clip shows Gillis and fellow comedian Matt McCusker making fun of Chinatown and using racist language.

“Chinatown’s f—ing nuts,” Gillis says in the video, which has since been deleted.

“Let the f—ing ch-nks live there.”

CNN opinion writer Jeff Yang took to twitter to express his frustration over the casting.

"Yeah if you want to know what being a person of color [sic] is like, it’s literally that for every Bowen Yang-shaped step you take forward, you also take one racist-ass Shane Gillis-shaped step back," he wrote. 

The third new SNL cast member announced this morning is comedian and Instagram impressionist Chloe Fineman, who has built a strong following through her uncanny impersonations of cultural figures including Elizabeth Holmes and Making a Murderer defence lawyer Kathleen Zellner.

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