Amid controversy over not hiring enough African American comedians on the show, NBC’s Saturday Night Live has added Sasheer Zamata to its 2014 lineup. Over the past 38 years since the show began, it has only had four African American women onboard including the hilarious Maya Rudolph who left in 2007.
Currently, Zamata, 27, is involved with two improv teams that do theatrical performances. She also performs regularly with the Upright Citizens Brigade.
In an interview with The NY Daily News, UVA Associate Prof. Theresa Davis, who worked with Zamata in the drama department said, “As an improv artist and comedian, she is hysterical, bold, quick. A brilliant performer.”
News of Zamata’s hire is just in time. According to an article on Business Insider, SNL comedian Kenan Thompson has refused to continue playing Black female characters, which he’s been doing due to the lack of female Black cast members.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.