Kenan Thompson says black women have no place in comedy and that the reason there are no black women on “Saturday Night Live” is because they are mostly not funny. This, despite what appears to be a promising new group of cast members, and thanks to a lack of black female leads.
In fact, this season introduced us to six new “Not Ready For Primetime Players.” Out of the six, five were male, one was female, and every one of them were white.
The show, now in its 39th season, has actually not cast a black woman in six years. In an interview with TV Guide, Thompson claims that it’s because there just aren’t enough black women who are funny. He says that it’s a particularly tough part of the comedy business. Lots of black women are auditioning but they can’t find ones that are actually ready.
Thompson himself has ended up having to play the part of black women, such as Jennifer Hudson and Maya Angelou, on many occasions. Now that he has left the show the only other minorities around are female cast mate Nasim Pedrad (who is actually Iranian) and Jay Pharoah. When asked what was going to happen this year when trying to portray black women on the show Thompson says that it’s up to Pharoah, and even he doesn’t want the job!
Saturday Night Live has been lacking female black comediennes since 2007 when (seriously funny) Maya Rudolph took her leave. Before that there have only been three other black women in the cast. Ellen Cleghorne, cast member from 1991-1995, the late Danitra Vance, cast member during the 1985-1986 season, and Yvonne Hudson, who only made it half way through the 1980-1981 season before being fired.
And it would appear that this also applies to those who host the show. Since Season 35 over 90 episodes have aired. Out of this only two black women (Gabourey Sidibe in April of 2010 and Maya Rudolph in February of 2012) have shared hosting duties. And during this time frame Miley Cyrus has hosted the show two times. She is neither funny nor is she black.
Back in early October current cast mate Jay Pharoah gave an interview to The Grio about how shamefully ignorant SNL is when it comes to diversity. Pharoah saying that they really need to pay attention to the issue. He says that he even gave Producers a suggestion as to who he thought would be perfect for the show. A talented black comedian named Damirra Bruson; claiming that Bruson is amazing and suggesting that they follow up with her. Since casting for the 2013-2014 season is well over it would suggest that they did not.
Kenan Thompson says black women are not funny and his stance is a bit weak, and a bit safe considering he is no longer on the show. It is hard to believe that in the year 2013 Lorne Michaels can’t find one funny black woman to cast on his show. The next Maya Rudolph may be out there somewhere! And its his job to go and find her.