With the Great “SNL” Exodus of Spring 2013, the long-running late-night sketch show was expected to return for Season 39 with a few new cast members. As the revamped opening credits during Saturday’s (Sept. 28) premiere made clear, there were several new faces to look out for during the episode. Also made clear? Lorne Michaels has a diversity problem. Let’s take a look at the names of the newbies: Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O’Brien, Noel Wells and Brooks Wheelan.
Yeah — six new cast members, all white, only one woman. (In case you were wondering, with a few of those names being a bit unisex, Wells is the female. She, along with Bennett, Mooney and Milhiser are photographed above.) While “SNL” has never been especially diverse, this season’s crop of newbies feels especially jarring. Perhaps it’s just because of the surprising high number of additions that makes the white-wash that much more obvious?
Surely, each will have the comedic chops to back up their hiring, though no major case was made in the premiere. The show used the new faces as the butt of jokes in both host Tina Fey’s monologue and a game show spoof that saw Fey playing herself, competing to distinguish between new “SNL” cast members and members of Arcade Fire, the week’s musical guest.
Does the lack of diversity in the new cast members disappoint you too? Or are we making a mountain out of a molehill?