On top of a new African-American woman cast member, Saturday Night Live is also adding two Black women as writers, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Comedians LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones were discovered during the show’s recent auditions for Black women cast members in New York and Los Angeles.
Tookes is a former newscaster from Florida who transitioned into comedy. Jones, a stand-up comedian who has written for Def Comedy Jam and had her own Showtime special, was reportedly one of the finalists for the new cast member spot taken by Sasheer Zamata. The two women reportedly made a huge impression during their auditions. “Producers were impressed with both Tookes and Jones and thought they were talented, smart and funny,” says THR.
The addition of more color to the roster comes months after the show hired six new comedians, only one of whom was of color. The rest were white. And then there were the off-hand comments about there not being enough Black women who were SNL-ready by cast member Kenan Thompson.
Kudos to SNL for not only adding a Black woman cast member to the show, but also hiring writers who will be more senstiive to what it means to be of color in America. No more skits about Verquonica with her stereotypical “Black accent,” mmkay?
“Me and Lakendra got hired to SNL as writers!!! #awesomesauce” tweeted Jones.
They start their new jobs on Monday. Congrats!