If the comedy theaters that feed SNL are even less diverse than the show, who’s to blame? We dove deep into SNL's diversity problem.
Splitsider has an honest and even-handed response to the SNL diversity debate. I agree that the problem is “cultural more than institutional.” It is never as simple as just throwing a black woman on the show. SNL’s female cast members include an Iranian-American, an openly gay woman and a plus-size woman. There will always be someone missing. There will always be someone under-represented.
I really believe that the reason there’s not a lot of women and minorities at the top echelons of comedy is because a lot of them are pushed out or made to feel unwelcome at the lowest levels. Sometimes these ways are really subtle, sometimes they are meant as jokes, sometimes it pushes us to work on the sidelines or in another “safer” industry. But UCB wants to be diverse. It’s the constant barrage of stupid comments and unwanted bullshit that you hear in Improv 101 classes and open mics that made me feel less-than, not anything UCB as an institution did. It’s having to play a geisha or a slave over and over again, having to yes-and ignorance and racism, having someone make the “game of the scene” that you look different from them. Kudos to the strong and amazing people who persevere past this.
The inaugural two-day workshop took place earlier this month in NYC.
Stay tuned to see if NBC’s late-night writing staffs actually diversify in 2014 and beyond…
Reggie Watts gave us a tour of his hometown in Montana. Take a look at the photo gallery that Reggie captioned himself.