×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lorne Michaels Responds to Lack of Black Women on ‘SNL’

It’s fitting that Kerry Washington will be hosting this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live”: The “Scandal” actress will arrive on the 30 Rockefeller Plaza stages at the tail end of, well, a scandal.

The long-running sketch comedy series was criticized earlier this year for not asking any black female comedians to join its cast — a fact only made worse when cast member Kenan Thompson told TVGuide.com that the show can “never find ones that are ready” during auditions.

Despite the swift backlash to both of these stories, “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels isn’t rushing to fill his roster.

“It’s not like it’s not a priority for us” to cast a black, female comedian, Michaels told the Associated Press on Thursday. “It will happen. I’m sure it will happen.”

The biracial Maya Rudolph, who left the show in 2007, is perhaps the most famous female “SNL” cast member with African-American heritage. Ellen Cleghorne was a cast member in the early ’90s and, in 1985, Danitra Vance became the first African-American woman to join the “SNL” cast.

The issue of gender and racial minorities in film and television continues to receive significant focus. The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film reported in September that women accounted for 43% of speaking roles in the 2012-13 — a small increase from past years. And music mogul Russell Simmons has started his weekly ADD Comedy Live show in Hollywood to support minority talent.

“Hollywood’s a very passionate, sweet, liberal place,” Simmons told Variety on Wednesday. “But they’re no more integrated than ‘Jerry Springer.’”

More TV

  • Cocain Grandmother Catherine Zeta Jones

    A+E Networks Sets Program Sales in Latin America and U.S.

    A+E Networks has clinched a raft of new programming sales to top TV outlets in Latin America and NBC’s Universo Spanish-language cabler in the U.S. On the eve of the annual NATPE programming market in Miami this week, A+E said it has set new licensing agreements for scripted and factual content with Direct TV (Latin [...]

  • Outlander 412

    'Outlander' Recap: Brianna Confronts Her Rapist in 'Providence'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Providence,” the 12th episode of “Outlander” Season 4. There were two competing narratives on “Outlander” this week — one that was largely invented for the show but was a very clever way to keep a certain character involved, and another that was also changed [...]

  • Gillian AndersonX-Files press conference, Century City,

    Gillian Anderson to Play Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of 'The Crown' (Report)

    “The Crown” has found its Iron Lady. Gillian Anderson is said to have signed on to play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of the much-praised Netflix drama series. Anderson’s casting was first reported by the Sunday Times. A Netflix rep declined to comment on the report. Anderson is the latest notable [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content