“Saturday Night Live” is taking its commitment to diversity seriously: After adding Sasheer Zamata to the cast following the public outcry that there was no black female performer on the show, it’s adding two African-American writers to the staff.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones were both discovered during the show’s auditions for women of color. They will join the writer’s room on Monday (Jan. 13) to prepare for the first new episode of the new year (Jan. 18), hosted by Drake.
Lorne Michaels held auditions for women of color in New York and Los Angeles after steady criticism — even from the show’s cast members and in sketches that made it to air — about the lack of a black female on the show following Maya Rudolph‘s departure in 2007.
That’s where he found Tookes and Jones, THR reports.
Jones is a Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian and actress, with guest star spots on “The League” and “Sullivan & Son,” writing gigs on “Def Comedy Jam” and “1st Amendment Stand Up” and a Showtime comedy special called “Problem Child” on her resume. Tookes is also an actress and comedian, and was formerly a news reporter from Florida.
Check out some of their work below. Do you think they should’ve made it on air too?