SNL has battled accusations of sexism and lack of respect for female cast members since the days of Rosanna Rosannadanna.
This weekend, news broke of the firings of two female cast members, Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson. Watkins in particular was well-liked, known for celeb send-ups such as her Hoda Kotb to Kristen Wiig's obnoxious Kathie Lee. The women are being replaced by two new "girls," but Saturday Night Live head honcho Lorne Michaels did seem to do a bit of the cliche breakup thing when giving the women their marching orders. And no male members were cut, even though I'm struggling right now to think of any male stand-out cast members on the show right now.
Watkins spoke to EW.com, and her tone was respectful but clearly flummoxed by Michaels' "it's not you, it's me" routine. Said Watkins, wistfully:
The only explanation I got from him — and he's not known to say things just to make people feel better — was that he felt deep down that I should have my own show. And I agreed. SNL was a dream come true for me. It was a fantastic year. I don't have any regrets.Watkins seems to be hopeful about the future, describing her initial reaction and where she expects to go career-wise from here:
Shock. And sadness [because] it just felt premature. But on some level I feel like there are so many opportunities and things that I want to do in the future and now they'll just happen sooner rather than later.It's too bad they've replaced Watkins, as she was one of the genuinely funny cast members on the show. Hopefully Lorne Michaels was right about one thing, and she'll get her own show soon enough.