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Apparently stung by the criticism that Saturday Night Live doesn't have much diversity, the show held two auditions for African-American women only as the show looks to add a new castmember by January.
According to sources who told The Hollywood Reporter, there were two showcases held, one in Los Angeles and the other in New York. This is the first time SNL has ever held auditions aimed towards a specific group.
Lorne Michales told the AP in November, "It's not like it's not a priority for us." The show also used host Kerry Washington to acknowledge that it does have a lack of diversity after adding six new comedians, with all but one being white. Noel Wells is Hispanic-Tunisian, Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah are African-American and Nasim Pedrad is Iranian-American, while the rest are white.
According to the New York Daily News, actress Bresha Webb spoke about how SNL held auditions in early December.
She told The Jasmine Braind, "The audition came about from an inside source from SNL." She added, "I don't think any of us had a clue about the showcase until two days prior." Webb noted that Michaels was also there.