After pressure to bring more diversity to its cast, “Saturday Night Live” has added a black female cast member, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.
“SNL” auditioned actresses across the country before hiring Sasheer Zamata of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe. Zamata will appear beginning with the Jan. 18 episode, the first new installment of the year, the story reports.
She will be the show’s first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph left the NBC late-night show in 2007.
The show came under fire last fall after cast member Kenan Thompson said he had started to refuse to dress in drag to play female black characters. The show poked fun at itself over its diversity problems when Kerry Washington of “Scandal” hosted in November.
Meanwhile, executive producer Lorne Michaels had said finding a black female cast member was a priority for the program.