Whoopi Goldberg commented on the recent controversy over a lack of diversity on NBC’s sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live," telling Showbiz411 writer Paula Schwartz that the issue is nothing new.
"These folks are 15 years late on this question," Goldberg told the publication, apparently referring to the recent round of criticism leveled against "SNL" for its lack of a black female cast member.
Goldberg herself has never been invited to host "SNL," the piece reports, citing Tom Leonardis, the president of Whoop Inc., Goldberg’s production company. Leonardis has worked with Goldberg for 19 years.
"He told me even before their partnership, when Goldberg was very young, Lorne Michaels never invited the most famous female black comedian to guest host," Schwartz writes. "Think of it: Whoopi Goldberg has an Oscar, she’s hosted the Oscars, she performs with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams, she runs ‘The View,’ she has a Tony Award for her acclaimed Broadway one-woman show directed by Mike Nichols."
Commenting on "SNL’s" diversity situation, Goldberg said: "’Saturday Night Live’ has looked like this for 15, 16 years. I don’t understand: Why is everyone up in arms? Didn’t anybody see it before? Clearly not!”
The comment was made at an afterparty for Goldberg’s new HBO documentary, "Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley," which premieres Nov. 18.
As previously reported, the issue of diversity on the NBC comedy show was raised after cast member Jay Pharoah noted that he would like the program to add a black woman. Another cast member, Kenan Thompson, argued that female black comedians aren’t "ready" to appear on the show.