‘SNL’ Auditioning Black Female Cast Members After Racial Controversy
'SNL''s acclaimed hosting gig with 'Scandal' star Kerry Washington may have made light of the racial controversy attached to the current season, tasking Washington with portraying a number of famous black female figures, though it seems the NBC sketch comedy series has in mind to correct the issue after all. Could a new black female comedienne join 'SNL' before the season is out?
Via Deadline, 'SNL' has reportedly auditioned a collection of black female prospective castmates for the show in both New York and The Groundlings in Los Angeles, among the names in contention Bresha Webb, Tiffany Haddish, Simonne Shepherd, and Darmirra Brunson, the latter of whom had previously been suggested by 'SNL' star Jay Pharoah himself. 'SNL' holding auditions throughout the year has long been a regular practice, though naturally the latest will court a few headlines.
Pharoah had most famously drawn attention to the lack of diversity among the cast, particularly as six new faces were added for the current season, the homogenous nature of which was mocked in the season opener by the sketch "New Cast Member or Arcade Fire?" Kenan Thompson reportedly refused to perform in drag for female characters of color, though had (somewhat) defended the 'SNL' casting choices in citing the auditions' lack of black female comedians "ready" for the task.
'SNL' could potentially add its new cast member as early as January, following this coming weekend's installment with John Goodman, and the 2013 closer with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. What say you? Has 'SNL' made progress in searching for a more diverse cast? Has the new audition come too little, too late, even after the below sketch?