'Saturday Night Live' Searches For Black Female Cast Member
Saturday Night Live has been under fire since they announced a new group of players earlier this year – none of whom was a black female. The sketch show appears to have taken the criticism to heart and is proactively looking to fill the void in their cast.
Black Female To Join SNL
On Monday night, Saturday Night Live held a special audition to cast a black female performer. There were seven or eight who were called in to try for a spot after weeks of auditions thinned out the competition. By January, one of the women is expected to make her debut.
“All told we’ve seen about 25 people,” SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels told The New York Times. “A lot of the people we saw are really good. Hopefully we’ll come out of the process well.”
Lorne, who claims to have set January 2014 as a deadline to add a black female to the cast after Maya Rudolf’s departure in 2007, said that they’re considering adding two of the hopeful candidates. However, as the cast already includes five women, he’s not certain that would be their best course of action.
Cast Discusses 'SNL's Lack Of Diversity
Back in October, both Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah – SNL’s two black male cast members – made headlines when they addressed the show’s lack of diversity and vowed to no longer play black female characters on the show. After Thompson said he’d no longer be taking on Oprah, he diplomatically responded to the question of diversity, saying, "[Diversity] is just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready."
Pharoah provided a more candid response to the question, suggesting that Michaels was dragging his feet to add a black female, even after Pharoah suggested someone he believed fit the bill. "Why do I think [Darmirra Brunson] should be on the show? Because she's black first of all, and she's really talented," he told The Grio. "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."
Currently, Nasim Pedrad, who’s of Iranian descent, is the only woman of a minority group in Saturday Night Live’s cast.
– Chelsea Regan