You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘SNL’s’ Lack of Diversity Still ‘Problematic,’ Says Org

Although “Scandal” star Kerry Washington hosted “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, some fans are still hoping for a permanent fix for the dearth of minority female performers on the long-running NBC comedy series.

“It was compelling to watch Kerry Washington and Jay Pharoah take on the issue of ‘SNL’s’ lack of black women cast members in the cold open of Saturday night’s episode,” Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org, said in a statement. “While certainly clever, it unfortunately doesn’t change the racial makeup of the current cast, or the reality of ‘SNL‘s’ problematic history with race and gender. ‘Saturday Night Live’ has substantial power in shaping the comedic world beyond Saturday nights. The absence of black women on ‘SNL’ means that black women will continue to be overlooked — in both casting and character development — on sitcoms, late night talk shows, and in comedic films.”

Robinson said his organization is meeting with NBC executives this month to discuss the problem and adds that “all jokes aside, we hope that NBC and [series creator] Lorne Michaels are taking this conversation seriously. After 39 years and 137 cast members — just four of them black women — Michaels has an opportunity to make lasting change in the show’s casting policies by opening doors for black women on ‘SNL,’ and moving us closer to a media landscape that is reflective of the American scene.”

For his part, Michaels acknowledges that this casting controversy is a problem; he told the Associated Press last week that “it’s not like it’s not a priority for us” and that “it will happen. I’m sure it will happen.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Emmys Fashion: Best Dressed on the

    Emmys: Best Fashion on the Purple Carpet

    The biggest stars in television stepped out on the Emmy purple carpet on Sunday night in a stunning display of gowns and vivacious looks. Fashion expert Brooke Jaffe, who visited Variety’s set after the show, picked some of her favorite dresses of the night, which included Zendaya’s truly enviable Vera number and Mandy Moore in [...]

  • Emmys 2019: Biggest Winners and Losers

    Winners and Losers of the 71st Emmy Awards

    The 71st Emmy Awards was a spectacular affair for the Brits, while broadcast networks all but vanished. Watch Variety’s Elaine Low and Audrey Yap unpack TV’s biggest night of the year, which saw “Game of Thrones” and “Fleabag” take home the top prizes, winning best drama series and best comedy series, respectively. Popular on Variety

  • Atmosphere71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Show,

    Emmy Viewers Not 'Feelin' Good' About Bizarre Music Choices

    It was known ahead of time that the Emmy Awards planned to dispense with a traditional orchestra or pit band for the walk-up and bumper music. What wasn’t anticipated was that the music choices were being outsourced to a bar mitzvah DJ in Des Moines. Or, very possibly, it was a local who had found [...]

  • Atmosphere71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Show,

    Emmys: Big 4 Broadcasters Post Lowest Combined Wins Ever

    The Big 4 broadcast networks put a cap on their worst year in Emmy history on Sunday night. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC brought home just 16 Emmy Awards — the lowest combined total in history for the four major broadcast networks. The previous low was 19 combined wins in 2016. Last year, the networks [...]

  • Karamo BrownLA LGBT Center 'Hearts of

    Karamo Brown Addresses Backlash Against Sean Spicer Comments

    Karamo Brown has doubled down on comments he made about his fellow “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Sean Spicer, in which he promoted the idea of meeting political adversaries “in the middle.” The amicable “Queer Eye” host received criticism when he said he was “most excited to meet” Spicer ahead of the show’s 28th season, [...]

  • Billy Porter Emmy Win 2019 Pose

    Billy Porter Dispels Rumors of RuPaul Rift Backstage at Emmys

    Billy Porter choked up backstage on Sunday at the Emmy Awards as he spoke about the larger cultural significance of his lead drama actor Emmy win for the FX drama “Pose.” Porter leads the large ensemble on the series set in 1980s New York City during the height of the AIDS crisis and the birth [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content