Kenan Thompson is done dressing in drag.
The long-serving Saturday Night Live cast member has donned a wig to play black female characters including Maya Angelou and Whoopi Goldberg, but said he’s done with all of that.
In an interview with TV Guide, Keenan bemoaned the lack of diversity on the show’s cast. This marks the sixth consecutive season without a black female cast member, and Keenan is no longer up for playing pop culture figures himself.
“I don’t know. We just haven’t done them. That’s what I’m saying,” Keenan said. “Maybe [Jay Pharaoh] will do it or something, but even he doesn’t really want to do it.”
Kenan said the problem is in the lack of good female black comedians.
“It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson says. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
Fellow cast member Jay Pharoah thinks he has a solution. Telling Saturday Night Live producers they need to “pay attention,” Pharoah suggested Tyler Perry movie alum 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,” Pharoah said. “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.”
In 28 years, Saturday Night Live has had only four black female cast members, and of them only Maya Rudolph (2000-2007) was on the cast for more than four seasons.
Keenan Thompson will at least have a reprieve in the near future. Saturday Night Live producers have picked Scandal star Kerry Washington to host the show on November 2.