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NBC president makes 1st comments about firing of Shane Gillis from SNL and Jay Leno’s dog eating jokes

Shane Gillis via Twitter

NBC president Paul Telegdy commented on two controversial incidents Saturday involving racist remarks made about Asians and Asian Americans.

Telegdy praised Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels for moving quickly after racist comments surfaced from Shane Gillis shortly after being hired as a regular on the SNL cast.

He also said an investigation into concerns from Gabrielle Union about a toxic culture on the set of America’s Got Talent will be wrapped up soon and that its possible new procedures will be put in place.

Telegdy made both of his comments at the Television Critics Association tour in Hollywood.

“I think what happened next (after reporters googled Gillis’ name and discovered the video), serves as a learning moment for a lot of people,” Deadline reported he said. “How quickly Lorne (Michaels) acted and subsequently what happened is a testament to how we act as a company.”

A You Tube video surfaced of Gillis using racial slurs commonly used against Asians, along with homophobic remarks.

“Chinatown’s f*cking nuts,” Gillis can be heard saying. Less than a minute later he says “Let the f*cking ch*nks live there.”

NBC announced the firing of Gillis four days later.

“We acted fast, Lorne did the right thing, going forward we think we will rightly be accountable,” Telegdy said.

The network president also answered questions about concerns expressed by Union shortly after she was fired as a judge from America’s Got Talent.

Union had asked human resources last November well before her firing to look into a Korean dog joke told by guest judge Jay Leno during an AGT taping. She also complained about receiving excessive notes about her appearance including being told that her hairstyles were “too Black” for the audience.

“I’m very confident that if we learn something… we will put new practices into place if necessary, and we certainly take anyone’s critique of what it means to come to work here incredibly seriously,” Variety reported Telegdy said. He declined to comment on the investigation any further.

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