SNL Is Finally Adding a Black Woman to Its Cast

The show auditioned comedians for the job last week

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Whoever replaces Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live will be bringing some much-needed diversity to the show’s predominantly white male cast. The New York Times reports that a black, female cast member will be joining the show in January.

“All told we’ve seen about 25 people,” the show’s executive producer Lorne Michaels told the Times. “A lot of the people we saw are really good. Hopefully we’ll come out of the process well.”

Major media outlets, including the Washington Post and Gothamist, reported earlier on Thursday that the show had hosted a secret audition solely for black, female comedians last week. Comedians who participated, including Gabrielle Dennis, Simone Shepherd and Tiffany Haddish, tweeted about the event at the Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles:

https://twitter.com/simoneshepherd/statuses/407428240291418112

Saturday Night Live has been criticized this season for its lack of diversity. Cast member Kenan Thompson caused an uproar when he suggested in an interview with T.V. Guide that most black female comedians weren’t “ready” to be on the show.

When Scandal’s Kerry Washington hosted SNL this past November, the show poked fun at itself for not having any black women in its cast. Washington played Michelle Obama, Oprah and Beyonce all in the same sketch.

7 comments
ThisIsJohnGaltSpeaking
ThisIsJohnGaltSpeaking

At almost all times in its history, SNL has had a cast that had approximately the same percent black cast members as the U.S. population (12%).  Sometimes, they were women (Ellen Cleghorne), usually they were men (Tim Meadows, Kenan Thompson, Garret Morris, Chris Rock, and the greatest SNLer of them all, Eddie Murphy).  Me personally?  I couldn't give a rat's buttocks what color anybody in the cast is, nor could I care less what gender they are, AS LONG AS THEY ARE FUNNY.  Why was Ellen Cleghorne not too funny?  I don't know. I don't care. I only know she wasn't.  Can I think of any funny black women doing comedy well anywhere right now?  (Other than Michelle Obama, but that's different. She's not supposed to be funny.) No, I really can't. Wanda Sykes is abominable. (You know you're bad when Bill Cosby dresses you down on national TV.)  Whoopi Goldberg has turned into a caricature of a crazy person.  I'm absolutely wide open to SNL hiring 10 black women as next year's cast IF THEY'RE FUNNY.  This entire made-up "controversy" is baloney, pure and simple. The show has no responsibility whatsoever to some notion of quotas. It has a responsibility to its viewers to be funny, and to its advertisers to draw in viewers by being funny. Nobody ever got rich by alienating the 78%.  So cast members are chosen on the basis of how well they will do in entertaining the viewers week in and week out.  Funny? Climb on board.  Not funny? Sorry, not interested.


By the way, no one who reads this has any idea what color or gender I am, so check your prejudices at the door.

contacttjb
contacttjb

Great article... TheJasmineBRAND.com broke this story, it would of been great for the site to be mentioned as well.  I see that both Washington Post and Gothamist were mentioned in this article both who pulled the story from TheJasmineBRAND.com

thejasminebrand.com/2013/12/11/exclusive-actress-bresha-webb-talks-about-snls-black-women-showcase-audition-we-were-all-honored/

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

There has always been a black man on SNL, why not an Asian or more hispanics?  There are as many an more of them living in the USA.

Bullsgt
Bullsgt

SNL could have hired a black comedian (why isn't it African American comedian?) at anytime. Why hold a "secrete" audition and why is it a "much-needed" event? Where they purposely excluding great talent no matter the ethnic origin?

No! their ratings have been in the toilet for years and they needed to publicize and re-introduce the brand.


Nothing like being used by the man. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

Good SNL now needs an Asian , Hispanic, and maybe throw in a midget to be totally PC.

averagebro
averagebro

@SukeMadiq You obviously missed the Fred Armisen/Horatio Sanz era. They've had Hispanic and Asian males recently.

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

@Bullsgt 

Uh Chief the black people screamed racism and gave SNL veiled threats.