Why aren’t there any black women on the cast of Saturday Night Live? According to Kenan Thompson, the producers have been looking but they haven’t had any luck.
The actor said: “It’s just a tough part of the business… Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
The comment drew fire from several people in the industry who said that there are plenty of funny black women working in comedy today. Fellow cast mate Jay Pharoah pointed to Damirra Brunson as one black woman who would be perfect for the cast.
Pharoah said: “They need to pay attention… Her name is Darmirra Brunson…Why do I think she should be on the show? Because she’s black first of all, and she’s really talented. She’s amazing. 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.”
SNL has only had four black female cast members since it premiered close to 40 years ago. Yvonne Hudson, Danitra Vance, Ellen Cleghorne and Maya Rudolph are the only black women to be part of the SNL cast.
USA Today notes that the current SNL casts consists of just three black cast members. The majority of the show’s hosts are also white. TV Line notes that out of the last 90 episodes only two black women. Gabourey Sidibe and Maya Rudolph, have hosted the show.
SNL will add one more black female host to that list later this year when Kerry Washington hosts the show.