A representative for the NBC sketch-comedy Saturday Night Live confirmed on Thursday that it will add one or two black female performers to its cast.
The announcement comes after growing complaints about the show’s lack of diversity and inclusion of women of color.
In recent weeks, the show has seen two dozen candidates in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The New York Times reported that a special audition for seven or eight finalists will be held Monday on the “SNL” stage in Manhattan. It’s “100 percent good for the show to have an African-American woman” in its ranks, executive producer Lorne Michaels told the Times.
Criticism for the show’s lack of a black female character came this fall by black cast members Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson. Pharoah lobbied from Darmirra Brunson of the OWN sitcom “Love Thy Neighbor,” while Thompson expressed his frustration with having to play black female characters in drag.
Attention to the show’s lack of diversity also was spurred by comments Thompson made, alleging that black female comedians weren’t funny enough for the show.
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