After a swarm of backlash about the cast’s lack of diversity when it comes to women of color, the hit sketch comedy Saturday Night Live has hired its first black female cast member in 7 years.
Sasheer Zamata has joined the long list of famous comedians such as Chevy Chase, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd who originally got their start on the show.
Zamata will be the first black female in the cast since Maya Rudolph left as a regular cast member in 2007.
The selection of Ms. Zamata came at the conclusion of what amounted to a midseason talent search by “S.N.L.,” which had been criticized for what was described as a glaring omission in the show’s cast.
Ms. Zamata will be what the show calls a “featured player,” the conventional post for new cast members. She is scheduled to make her first appearance on Jan. 18, the next new edition of the show. (It will be hosted by the singer Drake.) The news of Ms. Zamata’s hiring was first posted by the Deadline Hollywood website.
Zamata, 27, hails from Indianapolis. She attended the University of Virginia, and came to New York in 2009 to pursue a career in comedy.
She has performed stand-up around the country, and has appeared in sketches on the Comedy Central series “Inside Schumer” and “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.”
The addition to the cast will bring the female count to 7 women out of the 17 total cast members.
What do you think of SNL adding a black female cast member?
Will it clear the path for more diversity in comedy? Or is it just a move to satisfy the public for the time being?
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