After his hiring, Gillis came under fire for using racial slurs against Asian people in 2018 (a year before he was hired), just as the show brought on it's first East Asian-American cast member, Bowen Yang. His comments also included homophobic slurs. In a tweet, he defended his comments, saying they were a part of his comedy.
Following internet outrage, including multiple articles in left-leaning media sources, NBC announced that Gillis would not be joining SNL. Having been a cast member for five days without appearing on the show, he set the record for the shortest tenure on SNL. (Emily Prager was credited for one episode and didn't appear, but she had a longer association with SNL and made several uncredited appearances.)
- September 12-16, 2019: Featured Player