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Saturday Night Live‘ responded to intense criticism over its lack of Black, female actresses in the way that only ‘SNL’ can — with a joke.

Hosted by Kerry Washington, the cold opening begins with Washington portraying First Lady Michelle Obama speaking with her husband President Barack Obama, portrayed by Jay Pharoah.

It is moments before the White House state dinner, and a cast member portraying White House Press Secretary Jay Carney enters the room and tells “Michelle” that Oprah Winfrey has arrived, so she better go change clothes.

“Michelle” looks confused, then she realizes that “Carney” is telling Washington that she has to change into her Oprah costume.

She then asks, “Oh, because of the whole… and Kenan won’t do it?”

After she exits the room, words scroll across the screen apologizing to Washington for the number of Black women she will have to play during her hosting gig because they don’t have any Black, female cast members.

Once she returns as “Oprah,” she has to quickly leave because “Beyonce” has arrived. And, of course, Mrs. Knowles-Carter will be played by Washington.

‘SNL’ then acknowledge their over-abundance of White, male cast members with “Carney” saying that the state dinner will feature six Matthew McConaugheys. Six White, male cast members then enter the room.

MSNBC’S PoliticsNation host and The Rejected Stone author, Rev. Al Sharpton then appears and says that “nothing” has been learned from the previous skit, before closing with the classic, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

See the opening below:

We’ve highlighted the best and worst skits featuring Kerry:


In an anemic attempt to address SNL’s lack of Black comediennes, Kerry is asked to play First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce.

Some advice to SNL writers: making fun of the very demographic you’re discriminating against is NEVER a good idea.


Career Week Speaker 

Kerry channels her inner Bronx girl, as a a sassy, gum snapping assistant to Heshy Farahat, an overzealous motivational speaker.  Is it just me or does SNL always portray Eastern European characters (like Heshy Faharat) in the most unflattering light?

Grade: D


Jay Pharoah is a philandering boyfriend who’s caught red-handed by his tech savvy girlfriend (Washington) in a hilarious spoof of the  of the European dance hit “What Does The Fox Say?”

Grade: A  

How’s He Doing?

Kenan Thompson hosts a talk show with two Black academics (Pharaoh, Washington) who don’t have a single bad thing to say about Barack Obama.  This skit was a mixed bag, with some dead on analysis: “White people act like they’re doing us a favor watching ‘The Wire’ but missed the mark in making the argument that Black people have a Borg collective mentality when it comes to Obama. If SNL writers had bothered to read Cornel West and Tavis Smiley’s blistering critiques of our President or even took a peek at Black Twitter, they’d know this is far from the case.

Grade:  B-

Miss Universe

Most likely the most offensive skit of the evening, contestants from “less developed” nations take to the stage with disastrous results. Washington plays Miss Uganda as scatterbrained and without a strong grasp of the English language. Did the SNL writers know that the real Miss Uganda 2013, Stellah Nantumbwe is a recent graduate of Greenwich University in South London? (WATCH BELOW)

Grade: F 

In a recent interview with The Grio, Pharoah said that ‘SNL’ needs to follow through on their pledge to hire Black actresses and revealed his choice.

“They need to pay attention,” Pharoah said. “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.”

As previously reported by NewsOne, Kenan Thompson, who has played everyone from Jennifer Hudson to Maya Angelou on ‘SNL,’ said that he will no longer play Black, female characters, even though he blamed the show’s lack of diversity on Black comediennes who audition not being “ready” enough.


‘SNL’ Mocks Itself For Lack Of Black, Female Actresses with Kerry Washington [VIDEO]  was originally published on

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