About one month after Saturday Night Live publicly announced its search to find a black woman on planet Earth, one such woman—Sasheer Zamata—has been added to the cast as a featured player. Deadline reports the Upright Citizens Brigade veteran will make her debut on the January 18th SNL episode hosted by Drake, whose appearance hopefully has already been booked and is not contingent upon Zamata knowing his phone number and being able to get in touch with him because they are both black. She is the cast's first black female member since Maya Rudolph's departure in 2007.
The show's scramble to add a black woman to the bill in the wake of criticism about its lack of diversity (prompted by comments from its two black male cast members—one of whom complained he had grown tired of dressing up to play black women) was the subject of its own New York Times piece back in December. At the time, show creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels declined to say that the race and gender-specific search was the direct result of public criticism—like when your dad tells you to clean-up the living room and you're GROWN so no one can tell you what to do but, you know what, the living room is a common space for all to enjoy and it does look like it could use a quick picking up, so you decide to go ahead and clean it of your own volition.
Michaels told the Times the new cast member would be in place by January. Live every month like it's Black History Month.
And while "hired for SNL because SNL needed to hire a black woman immediately" isn't necessarily a descriptor you would wish to follow your black female friend for the rest of her life (some of SNL's best friends are black females) (specifically Sasheer Zamata) (she's actually the only one, but she's a dear friend), "hired for SNL" probably is. Assuming your friend wanted to work for SNL and wasn't just a random black woman accosted on the street and forced to dress up as Zahara Jolie-Pitt for the amusement of others.
[Image via YouTube]