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New 'Saturday Night Live' cast member Sasheer Zamata to start Jan. 18



It's about time, SNL. Deadline is reporting that comedian Sasheer Zamata will join Saturday Night Live as a new cast member, making her the show's first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph left in 2007. Great, now the show won't need to wait until Kerry Washington comes on to write black female characters into sketches!

SNL's hiring of Zamata, a Universtiy of Virgina alum who trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York, comes after recent widespread criticism for the show's lack of diversity, specifically a black female cast member. The sketch show added six new comedians in 2013, five of them white men. (There are currently two black male cast members on the show: Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah.)

Zamata debuts on next week's Jan. 18 show with Drake as host and musical guest.

[Last modified: Monday, January 6, 2014 4:55pm]


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