'SNL' plans to add black female cast member

'SNL' plans to add black female cast member

Credit: Getty Images for CDG

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Honoree Lorne Michaels onstage during the 15th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards with presenting sponsor Lacoste at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 19, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for CDG)

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Associated Press

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 12:05 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC's "Saturday Night Live" plans to add one and possibly two black female performers to its cast as soon as January.

A representative for the show confirms reports that "SNL" is responding to complaints about its lack of diversity by holding showcases to choose at least one black female cast member immediately.

The New York Times reports that a special audition for seven or eight finalists was held Monday on the "SNL" stage.

The show has seen two dozen candidates in recent weeks in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Executive producer Lorne Michaels tells the Times that many of the performers "are really good."

Criticism was spurred this fall by two of the show's black male cast members, Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson.

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