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Why The Dearth Of Black Commediennes In 'SNL' Cast?

Fri, November 1, 2013 8:44pm

Story by Eric Deggans




Listen to this story on npr.org »

Scandal star Kerry Washington's turn hosting NBC's Saturday Night Live this Saturday has revived criticism of the show's lack of black female cast members. The issue was raised earlier this year when SNL announced five new cast members — four male, all white. The show's lack of black women — only three have ever been cast in 38 years — forces the show's black males to dress as black women, which echoes historic, demeaning issues for black male comics. It also keeps SNL from featuring black female characters and keeps black women from entering the farm team of America's comedy elite who launch their careers there.

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