Why Kenan Thompson won’t dress in drag anymore on ‘SNL’
Kenan Thompson is fed up with having to wear a dress on “Saturday Night Live.”
A 10-year veteran of NBC’s sketch comedy show, Thompson has donned drag to play characters such as Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. And it’s not just because he thinks he looks good in a skirt. The current incarnation of “SNL” has no black female cast members — a lack of diverstiy that another cast member, Jay Pharoah, has already complained about this season. So guys have had to step in to the high heels.
But now Thompson says enough.
When asked how “SNL” would lampoon newsmaking black women, Thomspon told TV Guide: “I don’t know. We just haven’t done them. That’s what I’m saying. Maybe [Pharaoh] will do it or something, but even he doesn’t really want to do it.”
But unlike Pharoah — who urged producers to hire Darmirra Brunson for the ensemble — Thompson puts the onus on black female performers.
“It’s just a tough part of the business,” he was quoted as saying. ""Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
The show added six performers to the cast this season, but they are all white.
What do you think of Thompson’s comments? Is he right that black female performers just aren’t ready? How do you think diversity or the lack of it affects “SNL”?
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
Get our revamped Envelope newsletter, sent twice a week, for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes insights and columnist Glenn Whipp’s commentary.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.