January 7, 2014

"Diversity Done Wrong: How ‘SNL’ Mishandled Casting a Black Woman."

Variety cries "blatant tokenism."
Making finding a black female in particular a priority over other racial groups sets up an absurd hierarchy of diversity needs.... “SNL’s” micro-targeting of a subsegment of the population comes off like a staged gesture, noblesse oblige intended to be perceived as “the right thing” more so than being that in actuality....

38 comments:

Revenant said...

I realized, reading this headline, that I can't name a single person on SNL and no longer know anybody who watches it.

Guess I'm old now. AFK to tell kids to get off my damn lawn.

madAsHell said...

I was trying to remember the last black women on SNL, and I found this on CNN:

Producers of the NBC show have been criticized for the lack of diversity since Maya Rudolph left the cast six years ago.

Funny, I thought she was Arab, or Italian, and now I find out Ms. Rudolph is black, and Minnie Riperton's kid!!

Who knew!!

exhelodrvr1 said...

Thank goodness that this approach isn't applied with significant positions in our country!

rehajm said...

Wouldn't be surprised if Lorne Michaels et al were going for blatant tokenism. A full There! Now STFU move...

paul a'barge said...

Black women are not funny.

Lord Ben said...

My cousin, a white male, was flown out to audition by Lorne Michaels who saw his comedy group perform in Chicago. He should sue!!

Honestly though making sure you have a person to satire Rhianna or whatever in a sketch isn't bad. Nothing wrong with covering the various ethnic groups in your cast list if you're going to be doing current events sketch comedy.

eric said...

Last night Adam Baldwin posted to his twitter feed,

"SNL adding a conservative to its cast after being criticized for a lack of diversity."

Totally tricked me. I clicked the link and why, it wasn't a conservative at all!

Michael K said...

Have these people never seen a TV commercial with 30% of the actors black ? Talk about tokenism ! Is there a TV commercial run the past four years without a black ?

Revenant said...

Wouldn't be surprised if Lorne Michaels et al were going for blatant tokenism

Don't be ridiculous. Michaels would never do something like that.

William said...

The East Indians I have known have never especially impressed me with their comic timing. Nonetheless, I can think of three or four highly rated and successful sitcoms that have East Indian characters. Why are East Indians so heavily represented and Puerto Ricans so rare. I have known many Puerto Ricans with an excellent sense of humor. Is there a plot to emphasize East Indians at the expense of Puerto Ricans? I hope La Raza looks into this. How much longer will we have to wait for a Puerto Rican on SNL or in a a major sitcom.

RecChief said...

it's affirmative action played out for all to see, how can anyone criticize them for tokenism?

jr565 said...

They're looking for black women, but where are all the Asians?
Not just now, but for the entire span of SNL?

AustinRoth said...

No Indian, Palestinian, transgendered, aboriginal, or gingers either!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I heard this on NPR this morning. It was like SNL was all, "Get me a Black woman!" STAT!

Chef Mojo said...

I don't get it. SNL is still a thing? I thought someone put a stake through the heart of that bloody, screaming bitch long ago.

Freeman Hunt said...

Mad TV was better than SNL. More "diverse" too. And Mad TV had the hilarious Nicole Randall Johnson.

Michael K said...

Stacey Dash has good comic timing. Nah Not black enough.

Sam L. said...

I think Variety hath SNL nailed. SNL can't win for losing. Not that I watch SNL (lessee, maybe 30 years ago?) I'm way past their demo.

Sam L. said...

And they're way past my bedtime. Could DVR it, but...nah.

The Godfather said...

Hey, here's an idea: Hire the funniest comics and comic actors.

Freeman Hunt said...

Can we talk about how horrible the songs are in the Broadway play version of Les Miserables? That's funnier than SNL.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

I'll only be impressed if they dare to mock President Jarrett.

David said...

I guess it's been all downhill since Moms Mabley.

mccullough said...

Looks like its time to start ripping on Michelle Obama

traditionalguy said...

A point man means the courageous leader moving out and taking fire.
He is the opposite of the REMF hiding out in a safe place.

So we see Obama has a ring of point men that come out one at a time for him so his sorry ass will remain untouched.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

It is the GOP's fault.

They censor via threat any funny material. They control the corporations which pay the taxes that control levers of governmental power that won't allow the funny.

Damned dirty GOP.

Brando said...

Normally I oppose any form of race-based hiring, but I can see the point in why they needed a black woman in the cast--there are a number of characters and portrayals that simply can't be done with a white cast member (or putting Keenan Thompson in drag).

But the way they went about this--midseason hiring, and only after the show had been criticized for this--is going to give the impression this new cast member wasn't good enough for initial auditions, and was hired merely to fill a quota--even if she is pretty good. And there are some great black female comic actors, though SNL doesn't seem to have been able to hire them--the mere handful they hired over the past 40 years haven't been very successful on the show (the only two I can remember are Ellen Claighorne and Maya Rudolph, and what have either of them done since leaving the show?).

There is something to be said for the argument that the show skews white--when was the last time they had an Asian or Hispanic cast member? Or even an Italian American?--largely to appeal to its mostly white, liberal audience. But if the goal is to present the best comedy with the broadest appeal, a diverse cast is necessary.

MadisonMan said...

Wouldn't it be horrible for her if she were actually screamingly funny?

Because people will not believe she was hired for her talent, even after seeing her.

It's all in the timing.

PB Reader said...

The concept of black v white and insisting on calling someone of mixed heritage "black" is disturbing, particularly when it's black that insist on this modern "one-drop" rule.

The focus on diversity and inclusion is nothing more than modern apartheid insisting on perpetuation the separation of people while insisting they all be included in proportionate numbers.

What ever happened to "integration"? I guess Warren Beatty killed that off with Bulworth. "All we need is a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction. Everybody just gotta keep fuckin' everybody 'til they're all the same color."

When everyone's the same color, what will the rent-seekers do?

Henry said...

And how is Diversity Done Right?

Paco Wové said...

"And how is Diversity Done Right?"

That's the joke, Henry! There's no way for it to be done "right" without offending some hypersensitive ethnic bean-counter.

Peter said...

Just wait until Variety finds out about academic hiring...

Strelnikov said...

That paragraph accurately describes every affirmative action hire in history.

Strelnikov said...

"I guess it's been all downhill since Moms Mabley."

The world needs more commediennes without teeth.

Strelnikov said...

Don't they have folders of black women to choose from?

Strelnikov said...

"When everyone's the same color, what will the rent-seekers do?"

Apply the paper bag test, of course.

gerry said...

Is adulterer Jesse jackson or certified malicious liar Al Sharpton going to weigh in on this serious national concern and entertainment injustice?

Sigivald said...

SNL should have mocked the complainers in a skit.

That might have been funny, and would at least not have encouraged more of them.