Sasheer Zamata will join the cast of Saturday Night Live on Jan. 18 after a mid-season audition.
Zamata is an alum of the Upright Citizens Brigade, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She is a University of Virginia alum and becomes the first black female SNL cast member since the departure of Maya Rudolph.
SNL creator Lorne Michaels decided to break tradition and hire new talent midseason, according to the Daily Mail. SNL put out the word that they were looking for black comediennes, and Zamata was hired after auditioning at the Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles on Dec. 1.
Kerry Coddett, one of the women who auditioned for the coveted slot, was a previous critic of the show. She said the white male dominated SNL writing room that wasn’t ready to handle black female characters. She critiqued skits featuring for the Emmy nominated actress Kerry Washington. Coddett wrote, “Why can’t they create interesting and funny characters ourside race?”
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