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Kerry Washington Tackles Saturday Night Live's Lack Of Black Female Castmembers

Kerry Washington Tackles Saturday Night Live's Lack Of Black Female Castmembers

11/04/2013

Kerry Washington hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend, which the producers used to acknowledge the lack of black female regular players on the comedy sketch show.

Starting with the cold open, Washington portrayed Michelle Obama. “I feel like it’s been years since I’ve seen you!” quipped Jay Pharoah’s President Barack Obama, referencing the fact that Michelle Obama hasn’t been portrayed on the show since before she was the First Lady. Incidentally, the last time she was impersonated was in 2007, when Maya Rudolf, the last black female on SNL, was still around.

Following a few exchanges with the POTUS, Washington was called off the set to change into Oprah Winfrey. While backstage, a statement rolled over the screen as a voiceover played:

“The producers at Saturday Night Live would like to apologize to Kerry Washington for the number of black women she will be asked to play. We make these requests because Ms. Washington is an actress of considerable range and talent — and also because SNL does not currently have a black woman on the cast. Mostly the latter. We agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the near future, unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first.”

After screaming into the audience in Oprah’s signature fashion, dressed in a teal V-neck dress with her hair in curls, Washington was once again called off stage. This time, she was to change into Beyoncé. But before she could come back out, six Matthew McConaughey’s graced the stage, clearly poking fun at the plethora of white men on the cast.

Closing the cold open was none other than civil rights activist and MSNBC political pundit Al Sharpton, who introduced the episode of Saturday Night Live.

The meta cold open comes on the heels of Pharoah and Kenan Thompson's refusal to portray black females any longer, and Saturday Night Live continuing to face backlash for once again failing to add an African American woman in their latest mass casting.

– Chelsea Regan

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Read more: Kerry Washington, Saturday Night Live, Jay Pharoah

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