After much controversy and public disgust, Saturday Night Live has added its first Black female cast member since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007.
Comedienne Sasheer Zamata was selected for the coveted spot, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She’s expected to make her debut on January 18th alongside host and musical guest Drake.
Weeks ago the comedy sketch show held auditions in both Los Angeles and New York in response to diversity complaints. SNL added six new comedians during its 2013 season—all white except Noel Wells, who is of Hispanic-Tunisian descent. Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah are the only Black cast members on the show.
In a tactful response to the controversy, Kerry Washington (who was hosting during the height of the madness) exhaustingly played First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah and Beyoncé in the show’s opening skit.
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If Zamata seems familiar it’s because she’s no stranger to the spotlight. The starlet was a member of the Upright Citizen Brigade Theater in New York City and she’s developed a sizable audience on YouTube. She is also one of the eight comediennes we originally thought would be perfect for the job.
Congrats, Sasheer Zamata!