COMEDY
12/12/2013 06:44 pm ET Updated Dec 13, 2013

SNL Adding Black Female Cast Member

'Saturday Night Live' will be adding a black female cast member, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The news comes after weeks of criticism of the sketch comedy's lack of a black female comic. SNL regular Kenan Thompson took heat for saying that the show couldn't "find ones that are ready" to perform.

As the Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday, the show has been holding auditions specifically for black women.

Executive Producer Lorne Michaels told the New York Times that the show had auditioned around 25 people and hoped to add the new member in January.

SNL poked fun at its diversity challenges in a sketch that involved host Kerry Washington. In the bit, the show acknowledged that since they had no other black females on the show, Washington would be forced to play Michelle Obama, Oprah, and Beyonce in the same scene.

Michaels acknowledged the issue, telling the AP that "it's not like it's not a priority for us.... I'm sure it will happen." Cast member Jay Pharaoh said that actress Darmirra Brunson would be a great choice "because she's black, first of all, and she's really talented. She's amazing."

The show hasn't had a black female cast member since Maya Rudolph left in 2007.

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