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:
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.