Saturday Night Live has been getting a lot of flak recently because someone had asked why there wasn’t any black females in the cast. In the beginning, the show responded by making fun of the suggestion that they were intentionally excluding women of color. They got Kerry Washington to come laugh as their guest host. She very funnily acted out all black female characters parts and later everyone said she was great but race still remained a question. There was nothing the longtime series could do. They hired a slew of new faces this year and not one of them were black. So SNL did what they had to do or better word for it would be what they were forced to do. Instead of simply looking for the best comic; the creators of the show held secret auditions purely to find a black comedienne.
“The show’s two African American actors, Jay Pharaoh and Kenan Thompson, have publicly said it’s high time for the addition of a black woman.”(Variety)
A creator and producer of the show, Lorne Michaels, confirmed “a black female cast member will join the cast in January“. Wow, was that quick or what! I have to say I figured they would cave but was not expecting it to be this soon. It’s kind of worrisome that rushed into casting already. Shouldn’t this have taken up more time to find out whether or not the new girl can fit in with the rest of the cast. It’s not like she won’t know she was a pity hire so at the very most they could have slowly introduced her in.
Other shows have faced similar criticism. HBO’s “Girls” recently came under fire and cast “Orange Is The New Black” trouper Danielle Brooks to appear in the show next season.(Variety)
You see as a black woman I would love to have more characters I’m in tune with to be on my favorite shows. But not when they’re given as a consolation price. Like “here’s a black person, be happy“! Because then I wonder how these actors or comics will be introduced. Will they get shoved in my face for the first couple of months to only then slowly disappear once the race backlash goes away. Or will their roles get demean until they could think of a better way to allow them into the spotlight. No one really wins in these scenarios. That’s why no one should ever force creators’ hands. If they didn’t know what they were doing then no one would be watching their shows to begin with.