‘SNL’ Names New Black Female Cast Member—Sasheer Zamata

"Saturday Night Live's" newest cast member, Sasheer Zamata. (Photo by Cate Hellman)

Well, it looks like some folks’ prayers have been answered–“Saturday Night Live” has added a black female to its cast.

An “SNL” rep confirmed with XFINITY that Sasheer Zamata will be the newest addition to the NBC sketch comedy show. She will debut in the January 18 episode.

NBC came under fire last fall after cast member Kenan Thompson, who said he will no longer play black female roles on the show, made comments implying black women weren’t “ready” during “SNL” auditions. The last female black cast member was Maya Rudolph, who left the show in 2007. Yvonne Hudson, Danitra Vance and Ellen Cleghorne were the show’s only other black female cast members. None of the six cast members hired over the summer were people of color. “SNL” poked fun at its diversity crisis in November during its cold open featuring guest host Kerry Washington who played Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Beyonce in one sketch. The show, rumored to have held secret auditions around the country, then vowed last month to hire a black female cast member before the start of 2014. Zamata, who’s nickname is “Sheer,” made the cut.

“SNL” cold open featuring Kerry Washington
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Zamata, who describes herself as a New York-based actress, writer and comedian, moved to the Big Apple in 2009 after graduating from the University of Virginia and started performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, according to her website.

She hosts a weekly variety show, School Night, Wednesdays at 11 p.m. at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, along with performing improv with Doppelganger, and with Bucky on Harold Night. She’s appeared in sketches on “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” on FX and “Inside Amy Schumer” on Comedy Central.

“I have a webseries called ‘Pursuit of Sexiness.’ And I perform stand up wherever I can,” she continues on her site. “This is where you’ll find most of my internet presence. Also check out my twitter @thesheertruth, Facebook, and tumblr site.”

The latter will most definitely change with her new gig.

Check out Sasheer Zamata’s “Pursuit of Sexiness” Episode 6 titled “Subway Dance”

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