SNL diversity solution misses root of the problem
Lorne Michaels, creator and producer of "Saturday Night Live," was under great scrutiny after hiring six new white, mostly male, cast members for the show's 39th season.
Before the midseason finale on Dec. 21, "secret auditions" exclusively for black women were held, according to the Washington Post. As a result of the auditions, Sasheer Zamata was added to the variety show's cast on Jan. 6, along with writers Leslie Jones and LeKendra Tookes on Jan. 8.
While I commend Michaels and his colleagues for trying to diversify the show, I'm stuck here asking why only black women? What about someone of Latino background? Asian? Native American? What about a transgender or handicapped person? My problem with SNL's strive for "diversity" is that it seems like it's only achieved when you add a few black women to the mix.
Don't get me wrong here. After watching Zamata's early work, I'm already a fan and excited to see what she'll bring to SNL. But for the executives to very specifically weed through a single group of people doesn't sound like diversification to me.
The cast isn't even really diverse after the addition of Zamata. She, Jay Pharaoh, Kenan Thompson and Nasim Pedrad make four people of color, three of whom are black, out of a cast of 17 players. For the executives to search for a player of a specific race or gender satisfies the token minority standard of diversity. This problematic standard helps fuel stereotypes and often shows people in a single dimension.
Understandably, one can't mash a bunch of different colored crayons at random and expect a masterpiece. I'm sure Michaels hired who he hired for reasons that are for the benefit of comedy, but I haven't seen them yet. I love Mike O'Brien but I can't be the only one thinking the past half season was a bit lackluster.
The real problem presented here is inequality and misrepresentation in the media, nothing new. But in the year 2014, it seems that we've taken one step forward and two steps back. I remember growing up with shows with diverse casts like "Power Rangers" and "Out of the Box."
As an American woman of color, I'm pleading for all of the media world to realize that there is more to diversity than just white and black.
To truly celebrate America's melting pot (or tossed salad, if you prefer) culture, we need to embrace it in the media with accurate representations.
Tiffany Do is a junior journalism major from San Francisco, Calif. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More thesetonian News Articles
Recent thesetonian News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR THESETONIAN
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST THESETONIAN NEWS
- Phone app tips parents off to class skips
- Shedding blue light on safety
- 'Stalking: Know it. Name it. Stop it.'
- Seton Hall community reacts to proposed medical school
- Faculty will meet to discuss proposed School of Communication and the Arts
- Anticipated storm disappoints
- Tech advances could mean end of snow days
RECENT THESETONIAN CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Workers Say a Good Cup of Coffee Can Make Entire Workday...
- Fresh Fruit Delivers Fun and Nutrition
- Say No to the Knife: Reduce the Likeliness Of Surgery...
- Give Your Kitchen a New Look With a Lighting Update
- Garden Project Spreads Its Roots in Urban Areas
- The Need for Voluntary Insurance Is on the Rise
- How to Be More Productive During Your Business Flights
- It's Never too Late to Start Living Healthy
- Revive tus objetivos de verte saludable en 2015
- Debunking Common Tax-Filing Myths
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- WHOLE YOU CHALLENGES THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY AND PUBLIC TO HELP FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THOSE WITH ORAL AND VISION LIMITATIONS
- 10 Reasons Why Cancun is the Spring Break Mecca of the World
- What's Next in Learning Spaces?
- carpooling, Europe's No. 1 ridesharing app, debuts in U.S. to college market
- PwC US Launches CareerAdvisor