Kenan Thompson Comments on SNL's Lack of Black Comediennes
In an interview with TV Guide, SNL star Kenan Thompson shared his take on why the beloved sketch comedy show has not hired a woman of color (specifically African American women) to be a part of its cast for the sixth consecutive year.
According to Thompson, it is because SNL hasn’t come across any qualified candidates among the African American comediennes who audition for the show:
“It’s just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
Thompson’s remarks come just after Saturday Night Live entered its 39th season this year with the notable debut of six new cast members.
But Thompson is the not the only cast member to have recently commented on the show’s lack of diversity. Fellow cast member Jay Pharoah shared his own views with theGrio on the subject and even offered up his own suggestion for who SNL should hire in the future.
On the audition process:
“It’s one of those things that’s hard. Some people choke up. Some people burn their bridges by saying things they shouldn’t say either. You just have to be very political about your delivery, what you say, and your performance. You’ve got to be on point. Everybody has to like you and want you to win. If they don’t like you, it’s a wrap.”
On who he’d recommend to join the long-running sketch comedy show:
“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.”
Brunson currently stars on Tyler Perry’s Love Thy Neighbor.
Currently, of the 16 cast members employed by SNL, 13 of the actors are Caucasian, which leaves only three actors of color: Thompson, Pharoah and Nasim Pedrad.
And, as TV Guide points out, actress Maya Rudolph’s seven-year term on the show was the last time an African-American woman was a member of Saturday Night Live’s cast.
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