Source: Buzzfeed

Earlier this month, in an interview with The Grio, Jay Pharoah, one of three “people of color” on Saturday Night Live spoke out about how he would love to see a black woman as part of the almost lily white cast. Pharoah even suggested who he would pick if he had his choice.

“They need to pay attention,” Pharoah tells theGrio. “Her name is Darmirra Brunson…Why do I think she should be on the show? Because she’s black first of all, and she’s really talented. She’s amazing. She needs to be on SNL. I said it. And I believe they need to follow up with it like they said they were going to do last year.”

Pharoah knows that funny black women exist. But let Kenan Thompson, you know the chubby one from Kenan & Kel,  tell it, there’s a lack of black female comics. Yeah, he basically inserted his fat foot into his mouth.

In a recent interview with TV Guide, Thompson removes all blame for Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of SNL and solely places the blame on the lack of quality when it comes to black female comediennes.

 “It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson says. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”

As I stated in the previous piece about SNL’s lack of diversity when it comes to black women, there have only been four  in the series’ history: Yvonne Hudson, Danitra Vance, Ellen Cleghorne and Maya Rudolph. But of course there are those readers who’ll holler, “Well Maya ain’t black tho”, yeah,  yeah , yeah, don’t throw your own identity issues on someone else. OK?

First, once Thompson realizes that there’s a plethora of black comediennes out there, maybe he’ll actually realize the reason they’re not on the show is because of Lorne Michaels. Maybe Pharoah can do him a solid and introduce him to a couple.

Secondly, Kel is a lot funnier.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    Nothing to see here. Just another black man shitting on black women. Next.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    Why am I not surprise he said something like this. Every time I see kenan on SNL I always say I wish it was Kel instead. He is just not that funny to me. He is not going to rock the boat with the producers because he is happy he was able to get a spot on SNL himself. Side note, I was watching SNL this week and it is not funny at all. On every skit I kept saying over and over again that this show is just not funny.

  • Anonin

    Kel is funnier, I always wondered how Kenan got the stable gig of SNL.

  • vintage3000

    Word. Is there any other race of males who constantly disparage the women in their race in very public forums? For all the sexism that exists in the entertainment industry, I’ve never heard a White male comedian say “there aren’t any talented White girls auditioning”, or any of the other myriad of bullshit so many neutered black males spew on a daily basis, skurred Massa might get mad if they act too free. If Lorne Michaels’ didn’t want a fat black doughboy on the show Kenan wouldn’t have passed the audition either.

    And I don’t even care that Jay Pharoah made his comments in support of Black woman comics on the show, because 1) I don’t believe in inclusion just for diversity’s sake and 2) SNL hasn’t been funny in decades.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    Maya Rudolph. But of course there are those readers who’ll holler, “Well Maya ain’t black tho”, yeah, yeah , yeah, don’t throw your own identity issues on someone else. OK?
    On the last post one of the readers said Maya doesn’t consider herself black. Don’t know if this is true don’t follow the woman so that’s probably where the she isn’t black comes from.

  • Mo

    Well, if he is the standard by which “funny” is judged, I feel like they can grab the next black woman they see walking down the street and give her a job. For the life of me I cannot see how he has retained that job, most likley at the expense of a more talented black male comedian, because he is HORRIBLE!! He can’t get through a skit without laughing (even if the skit is not even marginally funny), his impressions are always awful and he has exactly 2 voices – his own and “old black man’ and they are used for all occasions.

    I would respect him more if he just said they don’t want to hire a black woman for the show, because that really is the case. Other shows manage to find funny black women, yet we are to believe SNL can’t? Please…

    The irony is 50% of the time he is (badly) playing some black woman
    character – so we must be thought to be HILARIOUS. Just not enough to give a job.

  • Brad

    Of course her mother was legendary singer Minnie Riperton who was tragically lost to breast cancer.

  • http://nerdstradamas.wordpress.com nerdstradamas

    I think it is so cool that Jay Pharaoh shouted out Damirra Brunson. She really is hilarious. There may be some (not so) subconscious bias here. They probably have it in their minds that black women aren’t intelligent enough to pull off sketch comedy.

    But Damirra and Chescaleigh are really great at developing characters and scenarios without resting on a “hood chick” impersonation. They are both really diverse in their comedy. I’d like to see them in the lime light. Or dang, have Raven Symone orTracee Ellis Ross or Queen Latifah or Kim Coles do a guest appearance until you find a permanent fixture. They all have amazing personalities and I am sure there are far more.

  • http://nerdstradamas.wordpress.com nerdstradamas

    That’s true. Mad Tv has Debra Wilson and recently Nicolle Randal Johnson. I always thought Mad Tv was funnier anyway. When you think about their cast, it was really hella diverse.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    I despise SNL. Every week you can see a black man in drag mocking a black woman. It’s disgusting.

  • au napptural

    I so agree with everyone. Keenan is a stereotype himself and they pretty much only hired him b/c he’ll dress up as a black woman to disparage us at every opportunity. And of course, they want a black man doing it, it has the same message as blackface without the responsibility. And it’s almost always a dark man. Self haters. Ugh, and to think I used to love All That, but the more I see old clips of that show, the more I realize it was undercover racist in many ways too.

  • KG

    I was side eyeing Keenan when he played himself on Victorious and was ok with having the script have him hit on and attempt to flirt with high school girls. Why he, as a 35 year old man, would think it humorous for him to play (and also make light of) a pedophile is beyond me.

    Oh well, I still have Will Smith. In other news, SNL has never, ever been remotely funny to me. In fact, I find it painful to watch, akin to torture even.

  • http://gravatar.com/projectpaula Paula

    Off topic, but never in my adolescent life – did I think Kenan would be more successful than Kel. I still don’t get it.

  • snl not funny anyway

    Of course he says this. If they hired an actual black woman, he’d be out of a job. Maybe he can be a Madea stand-in?

  • simplyme

    Give it up Kenan, the world is tired of seeing you in drag. Even Buzzfeed, the whitest mainstream website I can think of posted an article a little while back titled something like “10 reasons why SNL needs a Black woman”. Kenan was one of those reasons….

  • Mo

    “They probably have it in their minds that black women aren’t intelligent enough to pull off sketch comedy.”

    This CLEARY must be the case because what else could be the rationale behind thinking black women aren’t even good enough to play BLACK WOMEN?? Apparently black men and white women are so mega-talented they can play a black woman better than any actual black woman ever could!!

  • BeanBean

    Kenan has never been funny. I’ve always been disturbed at the fact that Kenan is on SNL and Kel is hanging around bars in small towns. It should be the other way around.

  • NY’s Finest

    People still watch SNL?

  • Nikkoli

    Wait..so because you don’t? That means other ppl don’t either? Considering that it’s been on since 1975..I’m sure there a few ppl still watching it……Just saying.

  • RJ

    I usually hate to use this term, but we have to take into account how many black performers are lining up to play the role of Uncle Tom. They do not want to speak honestly and jeopardize their position.

    It is not a coincidence that this guy is not involved with a black woman, if you see black women in your review mirror you will never have a clear view of them…or their story.

    My two cents.

  • DEE

    yeah, I don’t find Kenan funny at all

  • NY’s Finest

    So people really do still watch SNL?

  • http://www.therecoveringpessimist.me Jae

    I ONLY watch it when past cast members/guests are on there. Specifically Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

  • Anthony

    Keenan does not want a sister on SNL because it would mean a pay cut for him. There is a probably a man in drag clause in is contract.

  • Yvette

    The lack of people of color on SNL would easily be solved if special guests and musical acts of color would boycott the show. I always wondered why these actors and musicians continue to participate in Lorne Michaels’ exclusionary show.

  • GlowBelle

    Surprise surprise. I remember Keenan also threw Kel under the bus, as Kel wanted to re-join with him on many occasions but Keenan always turned him down so his jerky attitude doesn’t surprise me. He’s just like what everyone is saying, a pure Uncle Tom stereotype as degrading Black women is his meal ticket. All we can do is just not support him. Simple as that. We also need to stop expecting people like Keenan to trumpet for us and for shows like SNL to even support people of color. SNL barely has any other minorities on the show either as well, and you can look no further at SNL’s network NBC as they have white picket fence line-up of shows — and that right there tells me all I need to know. I just think that other cable networks need to jump on the sketch comedy wagon and give SNL some competition.

    And yeah, I miss ‘MADtv’ deeply.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    As mention, who is surprised that Kenan said this clearly he is thinking of his best interest and his pockets due to the lack of competition. He is clearly their magical yes negro on set. Personally I never cared for SNL, I agree with those who miss MADtv I always thought SNL was kind of dry in the humor department…shrugs. As for the lack of female comediennes…lies people tell, personally I think this generation wave of black women comediennes are much funnier than the black men comedians out now but it sucks that they don’t get green lighted or pushed to the back burner and only called when TPTB needs them to play a stereotypical trope that black men comedians don’t want to or can’t fill.

  • copelli

    Excellent point.

    SNL certainly has no problem finding black musical acts for the show.

  • Joyous

    Wow. Its like In Living Color never happened. There were so many funny women on that show. I always respected Keenan Ivory Wayans for creating something of his own, and providing so many opportunites for Black women comediennes.

  • Shelly

    Idk if he said more than what was mentioned in this article, but if all he said was that “they never find ones that are ready” then to me, that means that the ones who actually audition aren’t ready. That doesn’t equate to “black women aren’t funny” to me, but maybe he actually said that and it’s just not mentioned here.

    I never knew there were 4 black women cast members, I just thought there was Maya Rudolf and the woman who was on there in the 90′s. I looked up Danitra Vance, and she is funny! Look up “The Hairpiece” on youtube.

  • I hear Amy Poehler is a Racist

    I was done with SNL when Tina Fey made that “bitch is the new black” joke when Barack was running. There is no new black Tina. There is the ONLY black. Deal with it.

  • postmodernbro

    The very modestly talented Kenan Thompson sounds like the black version of Jerry Lewis with his stance on female comic actors of color. I don’t know what I find more annoying about him, the way he often plays black caricatures who butcher the English language or the steady stream of unconvincing drag characters he seems compelled to do.

  • Marsh

    The truth is Kenan could not answer the question honestly because he would lose his job. The real answer to the question posed is because he plays all the women parts in drag so they don’t need women of color for the roles. Similar to the model industry. Instead of hiring a black models, they instead put white models in black face. There is no need to hire a black woman comedian when Keenan serves that role. And that is just the truth of the matter.

  • thetruth

    Maya Rudolph doesn’t count. She’s racially ambiguous enough that SNL producers felt comfortable with giving her so much screen-time. She’s white enough that white people can see themselves in her…unlike the black actresses who you would miss their entire time on SNL if you blinked.

  • Dead Messenger

    Ironically, you consider the president to be a “black” man. Your “truth” is based on what you WANT to beLIEve.

  • thetruth

    Who the hell said I consider the president to be a “black” man???

    WHERE did you see me write that??? Point it out to me.

    Blacks will keep claiming mixed people and then complain when those mixed replace actual black people in media. Dumbasses.

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Her mama is black (Minnie Riperton)…that girl is black..lol

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Kenan doesn’t realize that he is a caricature….playing fat black women…he should be ashamed of himself. They are laughing AT you Kenan not WITH you.

  • thetruth

    Then I hope black folks don’t complain when racially ambiguous women become the new face of black women in mainstream media.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kristina.sears.39 Kristina Sears

    The “black women aren’t good enough” argument looks even weaker after seeing the new cast members, who honestly seem pretty terrible thus far.

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