Amidst controversy centered around Saturday Night Live’s lack of black women on its cast, comedian Sasheer Zamata has been hired as the iconic show’s latest addition. She’ll make her debut on Jan. 18 when Drake is the episode’s host and musical guest, according to Deadline. Zamata’s hiring comes after SNL reportedly auditioned multiple black women across the country, whittling the talent pool down to just three—Zamata, Natasha Rothwell and Kerry Coddett.
Earlier this year, SNL castmembers Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah spoke out about the controversy with Thompson saying, in part, “It’s just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they just never find [black women] that are ready.” Pharoah even suggested SNL that honcho Lorne Michaels hire Darmirra Brunson, who is currently on Tyler Perry’s series Love Thy Neighbor.
The New York-based Zamata is not only a seasoned improv and sketch actress but also performs stand-up comedy. She co-hosts a live weekly show called School Night at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater and co-stars in her own Web series Pursuit of Sexiness, alongside Nicole Byer of Girl Code fame. Check out Zamata’s official site here for more info and check out her appearance on the first season of Inside Amy Schumer below.
photo by Cate Hellman