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If It's Not on the Page, It Won't Be on the Stage

LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones will join the writing room at SNL - peoplewhowrite

LaKendra Tookes (l) and Leslie Jones will join SNL’s writing staff

You might have heard Saturday Night Live came under fire last October when cast member Kenan Thompson suggested there aren’t enough talented black female comediennes to go around. In response to the blogosphere uproar, SNL invited African-American women comics to audition for a featured spot (gee, thanks, SNL). Brooklyn-based funny woman Sasheer Zamata landed the coveted part, but perhaps even more exciting, the Hollywood Reporter writes two comediennes who also auditioned were brought on as writers. Starting January 18th, SNL’s 39th Season, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones will join the writing staff as welcome additions. If the episode Kerry Washington hosted is any indication, SNL’s writing team has been in dire need of diversity too. As of a March 2013 Writers Guild of America report on network and cable shows during the 2011-2012 season, minority TV writers are underrepresented by a factor of more than two to one.

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