News

‘SNL’ adds black woman to cast

‘SNL’ adds black woman to cast

NEW CAST MEMBER: "SNL" has come under fire for a lack of diversity among female cast members. Photo: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Saturday Night Live” has hired comedian Sasheer Zamata as a new cast member for the late-night comedy sketch show, a spokeswoman for network NBC said on Monday, months after the program was criticized for a lack of diversity among its female cast.

Zamata, who stars in her own internet comedy series “Pursuit of Sexiness,” will be the first African-American female cast member since Maya Rudolph left “Saturday Night Live” in 2007.

“SNL” came under criticism in October for its lack of female diversity after cast member Kenan Thompson said he would no longer play black women such as Whoopi Goldberg and Maya Angelou.

The show later spoofed that criticism with a sketch in which guest host Kerry Washington played several African-American figures, including first lady Michelle Obama, whose character has been left out of much of the show’s political satire because of casting.

Zamata, who has performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade improv comedy troupe, will make her debut on Jan. 18.

“Saturday Night Live,” which has launched the Hollywood careers of Chevy Chase, Mike Myers, Tina Fey and others, added six new members to its cast in September before the beginning of its current 39th season.

NBC is owned by Comcast Corp.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Jonathan Oatis)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment: March 4

Fresh
john-lennon

A look at the Hollywood headlines of years past.

in National, World

Netanyahu says Iran is threat to Israel, world

netanyahuspeech

The Israeli Prime Minister called for action over Iran's nuclear program.

in National

Supreme Court set to hear second major Obamacare challenge

obamacare

The court will consider a conservative challenge to tax subsidies critical to the measure's implementation.

in Sports

Daughter gets her wish: Daddy is traded to the Wild

leopold

The Blue Jackets have dealt veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold to the Minnesota Wild after a plea from his daughter goes viral.

in Sports

Tuesday’s Sports Minute

nets

A look at some of the sports news making headlines today, Tuesday, March 3. NETS BEAT NBA LEADERS The Brooklyn…