Monday, January 13, 2014

Feigned Diversity Triumphs At SNL

Lorne Michaels should be ashamed of himself for his poor handling of the recent hiring of Sasheer Zamata
(Photo Courtesy of  HuffPO)

For those unfamiliar with the story about SNL’s new cast member, let me give you a brief background….

Two African-American male cast members of SNL made some public complaints months ago about how there were no African-American female cast members on the show for the past few years and they refused to play the parts of famous black woman like Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama in skits for the new season. Jay Pharaoh, one of these cast members, said this regarding hiring a certain female comedian, “Why do I think she should be on the show? Because she’s black first of all, and she’s really talented.”

This became a news story naturally. Lorne Michaels and the decision-makers at SNL pulled a rarity and called for a casting call for only African-American women in the middle of the season. And now they are being praised for hiring Sasheer Zamata.

Where to begin with this story as there are so many things wrong with it….


For starters, how is it ok for Pharaoh to say the first reason someone should be hired is because she is black? This goes against the entire principle of the Civil Rights movement and subsequent laws put in place to make it illegal to discriminate against someone because of race, sex, religious beliefs, etc. We all know if someone said that a person should be hired for any job for the main reason that they were white, there would be public outcries. And yet no one batted an eye by Pharaoh’s comments.

Moving on from the racist comment, let’s bring up the diversity issue. There are currently 4 non-white cast members on SNL, 3 African-Americans including new hire Zamata and one Iranian. Where are the Hispanics? Chinese? Japanese? Indians? I can keep going but you get the picture. The Hispanic community has pointed out the lack of diversity on the show, but there weren’t any special casting calls made for Hispanic males and/or females. By making an urgent casting call for an African-American woman, the show became even more discriminatory against other minorities.

And do I actually need to point out the obvious fact that people should be hired based on skills. I was just hired and began work at my new company this month. I was not hired because they had extra money to spend and wanted to make a PR stunt of hiring a half Hispanic woman. I was hired because I was qualified for a job that they needed to fill. That’s how the real world operates.

Shame on Lorne Michaels and the decision-makers at SNL for such a blatant hiring of a specific race and sex to please the liberal media. Shame on Jay Pharaoh for making a discriminatory comment while claiming he is being virtuous and fighting for what is right. And truly best of luck to Sasheer Zamata, for the tainted manner in which she was hired and having to live up to an impossible standard to be better & funnier than all other potential new cast members.

1 comment:

  1. Shameful, Jay is actually a cast favorite whom i adore his on the money impersonation of prez obama. Too bad my reaction to his sketches will be rubbed off by this. Don't see why artists gotta taint talent, a sad trend though lately

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