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 Viral Videos

Overjoyed dog almost passes out from excitement

Fresh
Happy Dog

This schnauzer can't even handle how excited it is when a family member returns home.

in Music

You could have a country star in your fantasy football league

Fresh
florida

You could impress your friends by telling them the commissioner of your fantasy football league is Florida Georgia Line.

in Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: The history of the ‘high-five’

highfive

It's the gesture associated with all things awesome but the history behind this iconic handshake might surprise you.

in Entertainment

‘The Book of Life’ takes No. 1 spot on bestsellers list

bookoflife

The final novel of the time-traveling trilogy written by Deborah Harkness, shot straight to the top of the bestsellers list.

in Music

Kenny Chesney helps fans gets tickets after website crashes

kennychesney

The country music superstar has solved a ticketing mix up caused by a glitch on his website for his only live show of 2014.