Kenan Thompson of NBC’s SNL has caused some controversy when he started discussing the shows lack of diversity when it comes to women cast members. He said that when it comes to auditions for the show they don’t have black women who are “ready” for the show. I find this hard to believe since SNL’s former FOX rival MadTV had no trouble casting women of colour. I also see funny black women on You Tube doing sketches, sketches that are sometimes even funnier than SNL. While I do think this is a problem that the show should correct, we also have to realize what I’ve known for a while, women are funny. Women are just now really being recognized as a whole in the comedic industry. If you think of all of the women in the past few years to break through to mainstream comedy outlets, they have been white. In this day in age, it is sad that we still have to go through this hierarchy of ethnicities and let one at a time be “allowed” to participate.
People don’t like that Kenan or a white man or woman have to become black for parts on the show, but sometimes I think that is what makes the sketch funny. I can’t see any woman or man being able to do Kenan’s Whoopi Goldberg impression. I also don’t think anyone else could do Kenan’s Reba impression any better either. Let’s hope there isn’t a backlash over the lack of white, red-haired women not being covered fairly on the show.
Either way you lie on this topic, we can all agree that women are generally just now being offered big jobs in comedy. I don’t mean the ones who had to fight for it like Ellen, but the ones that have become popular in the last ten years or so. You also have to agree that we still live in a mainly conservative country where Hollywood tries to not be racists, but it happens based on viewers opinions. We will see more funny women of colour on TV in the next ten years, but it is something we are still going to have to wait for in the immediate future.
I also think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Kenan was simply stating what goes on in the entertainment industry, specifically the comedy part of that industry. He his self wasn’t saying they weren’t ready, he was saying that based on the “standards” of SNL they aren’t ready. I’m not particularly sure if he said his belief, but no one would really care at this point.
What are your thoughts on the lack of women of colour on SNL and in prominent comedy jobs in general? Let me know in the comment section.
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