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

You’ll never be as confident as this kid dancing to ‘Cuban Pete’

21-overlay6

This young man has moves and he's not afraid to use them.

in Viral Videos

Shark Wahlberg

18-overlay1

Grab the peanut butter, here comes a jellyfish.

in Entertainment

Police search Indy home of ‘Jared from Subway’

jaredfogle

Authorities searched the home of Subway pitchman Jared Fogle, about two months after the executive director of his nonprofit foundation was arrested on child pornography charges.

in Music

Aerosmith star Tom Hamilton is cancer free

tomhamiltonaerosmith

The bassist was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer in 2006, but the disease returned in 2011 prompting him to seek further treatment.

in Music

Remember that time the Rolling Stones got arrested in Arkansas?

13-overlay2

The Hall of Fame rockers were arrested for reckless driving 40 years ago but for a young deputy prosecutor the case was one to remember.