- It was big news in 2014 when Sasheer Zamata joined Saturday Night Live and became the show’s first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph’s departure seven years earlier.
- But it’s even bigger news that Zamata, 31, is now leaving the show after just four seasons.
- Before she joined, black male cast members like Jay Pharoah or Kenan Thompson did impersonations of black women on the show, roles that they both eventually shunned openly.
- Once she joined the cast, Zamata churned out crowd-pleasing impersonations of Taraji P. Henson, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Lupita Nyong'o and Michelle Obama.
- As a black woman, Zamata’s casting was supposed to fill a gaping hole in the show’s cast.
- But her short stint on SNL is a clear example, perhaps more than any other, that there are no so-called “quick fixes” to the problem of racial and gender inequity on television. Read more (Opinion)