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Saturday Night Live is said to be adding an African-American woman to its cast as soon as January in what seems like an obvious response to recent criticism.

When Saturday Night Live came back for its 39th season this fall, many people expressed their disappointment with the long-running late night comedy show for not having any new minorities on the cast – particularly African-American women. The headline made its way around the internet over the last several months, and it looks like Saturday Night Live has been listening.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources close to SNL have confirmed that SNL recently held two showcase auditions consisting entirely of African-American women. This is allegedly the first time SNL has ever held auditions for a spot on the show in this way.

Lorne Michaels has recently commented on the absence of the African-American woman on the show, saying, “It’s not like it’s not a priority for us.”

SNL even poked fun at itself this season when host Kerry Washington took the stage and played multiple African-American women – noting that there wasn’t a cast member to fill that role.

According to the same Hollywood Reporter article, the first auditions were held at The Groundlings in Los Angeles and included the likes of such people as Misty Monroe (a Groundlings Sunday Company alum), Amber Ruffin, Simone Shepherd, Tiffany Haddish, Nicole Byer, Bresha Webb and Darmirra Brunson. The second audition showcase was held in New York City and was attended by Lorne Michaels.

With Seth Meyers likely leaving in the spring to take over Late Night, the winds of change are coming for Saturday Night Live yet again.

What are your thoughts about the absence of an African-American woman on the cast of Saturday Night Live?

  • Jack

    How about Asian cast members?…

  • Hugo Weasley

    This is just stupid ! What does it matter if they don’t have a black woman in the cast? Are they going to contact Mitt Romney for his binders full of women?

  • M

    It should be about whoever is funniest. Period. Not about meeting a quota.

  • Caroline J.

    of course we’d all hope a woman of ANY ethnic origin would be cast under the same circumstances as any other SNL cast member, but under the current circumstances i don’t blame Lorne Michaels for going out of his way to do so. its not a perfect system, that’s for sure.

  • spacie19

    This reeks of binders full of women. Gross. Fact is, there were plenty of talented black comediennes out there before this whole controversy, and SNL has been inconsistent at best and stale and awful at worst for a couple decades now. So if they wanted to branch out in terms of recruiting talent they really should have done it a long time ago.

    • Hugo Weasley


  • K@

    Why is it not okay to pick the cast based on talent? Hiring people because of their race/gender/sexual orientation seems almost as bad to me as not hiring people based on their race/gender/sexual orientation.
    I do have to admit that I don’t really watch the show so I’m not entirely sure how diverse the cast has been the last few years.

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