Saturday Night Live, the longest running network show in the country, recently announced new members of its cast. Shockingly (not really), there are no black women cast members.
Not one. This marks the sixth year since a black woman (Maya Rudolph) has been on the show. Why? Is Creator/Producer Lorne Michaels to blame? No says SNL cast member Kenan Thomson.
Thompson says the show’s lack of diversity is due to the lack of quality black female comedians.
“It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson says. “Like in auditions, [Saturday Night Live} just never find ones that are ready.” While Thompson’s refusal to help SNL continue to ignore its own diversity issues is commendable, blaming the problem on an absence of talented black females only perpetuates the problem. There are countless brilliant black comediennes working right now, many of whom would likely be thrilled to take part in such an iconic series (even if the quality has slipped over the decades).
In the 38 years that Saturday Night Live has been in existence, the sketch show has only had four black female cast members.
Cast member Jay Pharoah told the Grio that SNL producers “need to pay attention” and add black women to the cast.
What do you think of Thompson’s remarks?
How important is the racial and gender makeup of the show? Thoughts?
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