SNL & Affirmative Action?

Kerry Washington plays Michelle Obama opposite Jay Pharoah's President Obama in SNL's November 2, 2013 show, photo courtesy of NBC

Kerry Washington plays Michelle Obama opposite Jay Pharoah’s President Obama in SNL’s November 2, 2013 show, photo courtesy of NBC

My nephew mentioned to me last Monday how crazy last Saturday’s run of SNL was.  On my way home that evening, I heard it on the news too.  So, I looked it up online.

Boy oh boy!  SNL is being accused of lacking appropriate diversity.  In particular, SNL has not had an African-American woman in the cast ever since Maya Rudolph left in 2007 and the current male African-American cast members no longer want to play female roles in their sketches.

Then Kerry Washington (a.k.a. Olivia Pope of the series Scandal*) hosted the show last Saturday.  It’s not clear if this was deliberate.  We all know that shows like SNL book their guest artists way in advance.  Was it just timely?  Well, SNL just had to show how it is taking all the flack over this and Kerry’s presence probably added gravitas to what they wanted to do.  *wink, wink* *Knowing slow nod*

SNL Cast Members, photo credit

SNL Cast Members, photo credit

So, should we require SNL to be uber-politically correct? Should we impose Affirmative Action rules?  I went about my various meetings and discussions through the day. On and off, I’d think about SNL and all this hoopla.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for equality. I feel it deep, all the way to my bones.  I have even written about it here, and here, and here, to name a few.  Maybe I don’t have the skinny on this. Or maybe I don’t know enough of what goes on inside this entire enterprise.

I looked up the various vignettes shown last Saturday again. So, there were some funny scenes and not so funny scenes. That’s so SNL though. They can be really funny. They can also be not that funny. It was a typical SNL night. Why am I not all riled up? Should I be hyperventilating and almost frothing in the mouth in indignation?

I found myself giggling over some of the vignettes.  Why could I not get myself angry over this? (I know. I know. The Daily Prompt specified Intense.  I keep staring at this screen and wondering why I can’t get my intense juices flowing. Have I betrayed my fellow human rights zealots?  Maybe I’m out of ammo?  What is wrong with me!)

We Asian Americans don’t complain when the NBA has only had Yao Ming and Jeremy Lin in the history of their teams.  There are no Asians in SNL either.  I think if we are going to be consistent about this, we should demand from SNL the correct race, ethnicity, sex, religious affiliation etc. percentages that is representative of our beloved country, including Tea Party and extreme left-wing  affiliations.  In this way, no one can fault SNL for excluding anyone. Would SNL be funnier if it has diversity for diversity’s sake?

We can do the same demands of the NBA, the NFL, etc., even Congress while we’re at it!

Otherwise, stop taking it too seriously. Even they don’t take themselves seriously.  Let them parade the 6 Matthew McConaughey look-alikes.  Even the Reverend Al Sharpton cameo’d, “What have we learned from this sketch? As usual, nothing! Live! from New York! It’s Saturday Night Live!”

They’re going to find that right person for their cast eventually.  Hopefully soon enough before all this name-calling gets physical. And whoever this person is would probably feel terrible if she was cast because she’s African-American and not for her comedic prowess.


*A word about Olivia Pope: Yes, many a woman, girl, and dame have cried out on FB they want to be Olivia Popes. I do too. 🙂  But I would flatly refuse to fall for a weak president who can’t seem to keep his one-eyed snake zipped. Sorry Shonda!


“Saturday Night Live” Brilliantly Skewers Diversity Problem with Host Kerry Washington (

This entry was posted in Affirmative Action, BlogHer, Civil Rights, Daily Post Challenge, Diversity, DPChallenge, Equality, Race and Gender Issues, Saturday Night Live, SNL, YeahWrite and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to SNL & Affirmative Action?

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  4. dream2write says:

    While diversity is oh so important, so is talent. I don’t know if there should be a quota or not, but I will as an educator it would be cool to see more diversity in SNL. My students watch it all the time and I would love for them to see models for themselves.


  5. says:

    I did not realize this! Thanks for sharing!


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