'Saturday Night Live' to add black cast member in January

By Samantha Ravenscroft,

Producers for Saturday Night Live plan to add diversity to their cast by adding at least one black female comedienne in January.

NBC representatives confirmed reports and the show has already auditioned two dozen women in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

According to the New York Times, seven or eight finalists will audition Monday on the SNL stage in Manhattan.

SNL currently has no black female cast members. In fact, the only black members of the cast are Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah, who have both criticized the show for its lack of diversity. Executive producer Lorne Michaels said the hiring of a black cast member was a “priority” back in November stating, “It will happen.”

The show recently poked fun at their lack of black female cast members when Scandal star Kerry Washington hosted by having her play multiple black women in a single skit, reported the Huffington Post.

"We make this request both because Ms. Washington is an actress of considerable range and talent and also because Saturday Night Live does not currently have a black woman in the cast," the screen read at the beginning of the episode. "We agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the future — unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first."

Since premiering in 1975, SNL has had only four black female members. Maya Rudolph was the latest one, but left in 2007.

Image: NBC


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