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'SNL' Adds a Black Woman to Its Cast: Sasheer Zamata Will Make Her Debut on Jan. 18

After news broke in December that Lorne Michaels was auditioning black women to join Saturday Night Live, it was only a matter of time until we learned who would be the show's newest castmember. On Monday, SNL made that announcement, revealing that Sasheer Zamata would make her debut on Jan. 18.

According to The Associated Press, Zamata has previously worked with the Upright Citizens Brigade, which has often served as a farm system for SNL. Based on her character reel, Zamata comes prepared to unleash a ton of impressions.

SNL's lack of diversity has quietly been an issue for years, but came to the forefront as this season began, with Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson, the show's only two black castmembers, bringing light to the fact that was missing a black woman and would often have to turn to Thompson in drag to portray celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg. The AP notes that out of the 137 regular castmembers in SNL's history, only four have been black women.

So how will SNL address Zamata's debut? Will she join host Drake in a simple acknowledgement? When Kerry Washington hosted a few weeks ago, SNL mocked itself for not having a black female castmember, which means that possibility has probably been exhausted.
'SNL' Adds a Black Woman to Its Cast: Sasheer Zamata Will Make Her Debut on Jan. 18 Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 1/06/2014 Rating: 5

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