It could be an excellent opportunity for a diversity-related sketch.
“Scandal” star Kerry Washington is about to reach another milestone in her career, as she has been drafted to host Saturday Night Live for the first time. Washington will take over the sketch comedy show on November 2, Deadline reports. Her appearance comes at a turbulent time for SNL, as the show has once again come under fire for failing to represent any kind of ethnic diversity. There is some truth to this, considering that Washington’s temporary addition to the cast rounds out the number of non-white people onstage to a meager total of four and out of them, Washington will be the only black female.
Washington's booking brings a little diversity to the SNL stage.
The show came under some fire online recently, when cast-member Kenan Thompson got dragged back into the diversity controversy during a TV Guide interview. When he had to answer the question of why, for the sixth consecutive season, SNL had failed to hire a single black comedienne Thompson came out with a rather foot-in-mouth answer.
“It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson says. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
Temporarily, at least.
Ouch. When asked whether that wasn’t to the detriment of the show, since sketches about black female celebrities are pretty much off the table, given the current lineup, Thompson had this to say: “I don’t know. We just haven’t done them. That’s what I’m saying. Maybe [Jay Pharoah] will do it or something, but even he doesn’t really want to do it.”
That’s probably a wise move, given that it’s 2013 and no one above the age of 12 really considers the mere sight of a man in a dress to be a joke anymore. That just leaves us with the hope that Washington’s appearance will give SNL to widen its range a bit. And maybe, sometime in the distant future, a cast, diverse enough to reflect its audience, would be a realistic goal.
Kenan Thompson recently defended the casting choices in an interview.