- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 21, 2019

White House hopeful Andrew Yang said in an interview aired Friday that so-called “cancel culture” has led many Americans to become fearful of facing life-changing repercussions for past remarks.

Mr. Yang, a tech entrepreneur seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, made the comment in light of comedian Shane Gillis being recently cut from the cast of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” after he came under fire for racist and bigoted jokes he made before being hired.

“I think that cancel culture has really become sort of this source of fear for many Americans, where we live in a culture that you’re somehow afraid that if you say the wrong thing that your life could be changed forever,” Mr. Yang told Hill.TV.

“One thing a friend of mine said that was interesting, he said that, like, everyone becomes angry at this individual and they lose jobs or lose opportunities and have their lives changed. And then we move on. But then that person’s life has still been, in some cases, irrevocably altered even as the rest of us have moved on,” Mr. Yang added. “So to me, it’s vital that we humanize each other. We humanize the consequences of some of these impulses not just in terms if who hears the expression but who is losing a livelihood as a result.”

Mr. Gillis was named last Thursday, Sept. 12, as one of three comedians joining the cast of “SNL” for the show’s 45th season starting next month. He was cut days later, however, after recordings surfaced of him using racist and bigoted language, including an ethic slur for Asian people while joking about Mr. Yang, the son of Taiwanese immigrants.

“He was a still forming comedian that had made some terrible and offensive jokes, and to me, that did not rise to a level where he should lose his job,” said Mr. Yang, The Hill reported.

Mr. Gillis said last week that he is “happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.” He said in a subsequent statement that he understands the show’s decision and is grateful for briefly bringing him on board.

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