'Saturday Night Live' pokes fun at diversity issue - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

'Saturday Night Live' pokes fun at diversity issue

Posted: Updated:
This Oct. 29, 2013 photo released by NBC shows actress Kerry Washington, right, with cast member Taran Killam during a promotional shoot for "Saturday Night Live," in New York. Washington will host the late night comedy sketch series on Nov. 2. This Oct. 29, 2013 photo released by NBC shows actress Kerry Washington, right, with cast member Taran Killam during a promotional shoot for "Saturday Night Live," in New York. Washington will host the late night comedy sketch series on Nov. 2.

NEW YORK (AP) — With Kerry Washington as guest host, "Saturday Night Live" wasted no time poking fun at itself after receiving criticism for having no black women among its 16 regular cast members.

In the opening skit, the "Scandal" actress portrayed First Lady Michelle Obama, talking with her husband about an upcoming state dinner at the White House.

"Michelle, this is such a treat," said the president, impersonated by Jay Pharoah. "I feel like it's been years since I've seen you."

An aide came in, saying Oprah Winfrey had arrived for the dinner and wanted to see the president. "Don't you think you should get changed?" he asked Washington. She wondered whether cast member Kenan Thompson couldn't play Winfrey; Both Thompson and Pharoah have said recently they will no longer impersonate women on the NBC late-night comedy institution.

Washington left the stage and returned as Winfrey. She was then asked to portray Beyonce — before the show's executive producer, Lorne Michaels, stepped in.

Michaels said producers would like to apologize to Washington for the number of black women she would be asked to play in the show.

"We make this request both because Ms. Washington is an actress of considerable range and talent, and also because 'Saturday Night Live' does not currently have a black woman in the cast," he said. "We agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the future — unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first."

The show has had four black women among its regular cast since coming on the air in 1975 with the last one, biracial Maya Rudolph, leaving in 2007. Both Pharoah and Thompson have recently addressed the situation in interviews, with Pharoah even lobbying for a specific comic to be added — Darmirra Brunson of the OWN sitcom "Love Thy Neighbor."

To drive the point home in the skit, the presidential aide announced that six different Matthew McConaugheys were there to attend the state dinner — and six different white male cast members trooped in dressed as the actor.

Then the Rev. Al Sharpton appeared on the stage.

"What have we learned from this sketch?" Sharpton said. "As usual, nothing."

He then delivered the show's traditional opening line of "live from New York, it's Saturday night."

During the show, Washington portrayed a gum-chewing assistant to a career counselor, a political science professor discussing her unwavering support for Obama, Miss Uganda in a beauty pageant, a game show host, a teacher at the dunk tank in a school carnival and an 18-year-old contestant in an MTV dating game.

She also joked about "Scandal" co-star Tony Goldwyn, saying that she was "proud to be on a show that has the courage to cast a white man as president" in 2013.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child

    Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child

    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:26 PM EDT2018-06-24 20:26:38 GMT
    (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File). FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2010 file photo, actress Brigitte Nielsen is seen at the International Essen Motorshow Fair in Essen, western Germany. Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54. The model, actress and reality s...(AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File). FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2010 file photo, actress Brigitte Nielsen is seen at the International Essen Motorshow Fair in Essen, western Germany. Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54. The model, actress and reality s...
    Brigitte Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54. The model, actress and reality star and her husband Mattia Dessi released a statement to People magazine Saturday saying their daughter Frida was born on Friday... 
    Brigitte Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54. The model, actress and reality star and her husband Mattia Dessi released a statement to People magazine Saturday saying their daughter Frida was born on Friday in Los Angeles. 
  • Memorial set at Florida arena for slain rapper XXXTentacion

    Memorial set at Florida arena for slain rapper XXXTentacion

    Jun 24, 2018 5:00 AM2018-06-24 19:10:39 GMT

    A major public memorial is planned at a Florida arena for rising rap star XXXTentacion (ex-ex-ex-ten-ta-see-YAWN), who was shot and killed this week.

     

    A major public memorial is planned at a Florida arena for rising rap star XXXTentacion (ex-ex-ex-ten-ta-see-YAWN), who was shot and killed this week.

     
  • Science Says: What makes something truly addictive

    Science Says: What makes something truly addictive

    Sunday, June 24 2018 2:12 PM EDT2018-06-24 18:12:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 file photo, a college student plays a computer game at an Internet cafe in Seoul, South Korea. On Monday, 18, 2018, the World Health Organization said that compulsively playing video ga...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 file photo, a college student plays a computer game at an Internet cafe in Seoul, South Korea. On Monday, 18, 2018, the World Health Organization said that compulsively playing video ga...
    Video game "addiction" decision renews debate over whether behaviors can cause same kind of illness as drugs. 
    Video game "addiction" decision renews debate over whether behaviors can cause same kind of illness as drugs. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.