The entertainment media was in a lather back in October when Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson went on record saying the show didn't have any African American female cast members because, "Like, in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready."
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Apparently, Lorne Michaels and the gang down at SNL are tired of getting flack on this one and have taken steps with hopes the media will cut them slack. Word leaked that last week, Saturday Night Live held top-secret auditions for a black female cast member in a sold-out event at the Groundlings in Los Angeles, according to the Gothamist.
Among those vying for a spot were comedians Bresha Webb (Love That Girl), Nicole Byer, Amber Ruffin (Key & Peele), Simone Shepherd (Tracks), Tiffany Haddish (Janky Promoters), LaKendra Tookes, Damirra Burnson (Love Thy Neighbor), Azie Dungey (Ask A Slave), Beth Payne, Misty Monroe and Gabrielle Dennis (Blue Mountain State).
"The audition came about from an inside source from 'SNL,'" Webb told The Jasmine Brand. "I don't think any of us had a clue about the showcase until two days prior. I found out that I was on a list of funny women in the industry and there was an opportunity for me to (audition for) 'SNL' last summer but I was filming Love That Girl. And now the opportunity has re-presented itself."
Now, after a funny show this weekend with John Goodman and surprise guest appearances by Sylvester Stallone and Robert Deniro, 7-8 black female finalists have been named, three from the East Coast: Natasha Rothwell, Kerry Coddett, and Sasheer Zamata. According to SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels, one or two of these ladies will make the final cut and debut as a new SNL member in January.
Currently there are only three cast members of color on Saturday Night Live, and 16 possible spots with white males making up the majority.