After vowing to hire a black woman after facing controversy earlier this season, Saturday Night Live has hired Sasheer Zamata. A UCB alum, Zamata will appear on the next episode January 18 featuring Drake as host and musical guest, according to Nellie Andreeva of Deadline.
The long-running show came under fire as their season began for hiring a freshman class that was almost entirely white-male. Comments from current cast member Kenan Thompson, who said that the cast didn't have black women because they weren't "ready" in auditions, did not help things. When Kerry Washington appeared as host in November, the show mocked its own lack of diversity by having her play a number of high profile black women in the cold open sketch. In December, news emerged that the show was specifically auditioning black women to join the show in January. According to Bill Carter of the New York Times, Lorne Michaels said "that he had committed to that timetable to add the show’s first black woman since Maya Rudolph left the series in 2007. "
Zamata comes from SNL feeder the Upright Citizens Brigade, and, according to her Tumblr, she likes "acting, writing, dancing, thrift shopping, crafts, laying on roofs, laying in parks, learning new things, bows in my hair, fantastical dreams, endings that are more real than happy and New York."
Here she is telling the story of a guy who flashed her from the perspective of the flasher:
And here she is in a sketch from Above Average, a YouTube Channel from Michaels' Broadway Video.