Kenan Thompson, one of two black males currently on Saturday Night Live’s roster of players, believes that the lack of black females on the comedy sketch show is due to a lack of options.

Thompson isn’t pointing the finger at showrunner Lorne Michael for Saturday Night Live entering its sixth season in a row without a black woman in the cast. The comedian believes that no one has come in that’s fit the bill. "[Diversity] is just a tough part of the business," he told TV Guide. "Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready."

Now that Thompson has vowed to no longer dress in drag to play black female celebrities, the task may fall to relative newcomer Jay Pharoah. “Maybe he will do it or something, but even he doesn't really want to do it,” said Thompson, who’s played Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah and Maya Angelou during his time on the show.

Pharoah might actually be even less likely to willing take on female characters. Unlike Thompson, he doesn’t believe that a lack of talent is the problem. The comedian, best known for his spot on impersonation of President Barack Obama, floated the idea of adding Darmirra Brunson to the cast to SNL’s executives – but the suggestion may have fallen on deaf ears. "Why do I think [Darmirra] should be on the show? Because she's black first of all, and she's really talented," he told theGrio. "She needs to be on SNL. I said it. And I believe they need to follow up with it like they said they were going to do last year."


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Maya Rudolf, who left SNL in 2007, was the last female of African American descent to be a member of the cast. Nasim Pedrad, who’s of Iranian descent, is the only woman of color currently among the SNL players.

– Chelsea Regan

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