Either Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson misspoke in his comments about the show's lack of diversity, TV Guide misquoted or misconstrued his words, or he really did make generalizations that are is problematic at best and sexist at worst.
TV Guide asked the actor about the news that next season will mark the variety show's sixth year without a black female cast member — and what the actors would do if a sketch was written with a black female character.
"I don't know. We just haven't done them. That's what I'm saying. Maybe [co-star] Jay Pharoah will [cross-dress] or something, but even he doesn't really want to do it."
But TV Guide states that the 35-year-old attributed the issue to the the talent (or lack thereof) of black female comedians. "It's just a tough part of the business," Kenan told the site. "Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready."
If he simply said that the show's casting agents never find black comediennes who are "ready," he could have meant that that the black female comediennes who have auditioned weren't ready but that talented ones are out there.
But his saying that that's the "tough part of the business" makes it sounds like he believes that the dearth of talent is a general, widespread problem — and that is what's troubling.
What do you think? Is he being unfairly portrayed, or does he deserve the criticism? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Source: TV Guide