Daily Archives: January 10, 2014

‘SNL’ Hires 3 Black Women, But You Can’t Beat the Man

So this was published by PolicyMic yesterday. It was quickly unpublished for “reading too much like blog post.” Do I know what that means? Of course I don’t, but you have to just keep on keeping on. And yes, I’m well aware of the irony in a site deciding that my post that talks about “newsworthiness” is not newsworthy. Don’t be a dick.

'snl', hires, 3, black, women,, but, you, can't, beat, the, man,                                               Image Credit: AP

Saturday Night Live just hired two black, female writers. After some deep meditation and careful consideration about how I should feel about this, all I can say is, “My hat is off to you, Lorne Michaels.”

On the surface, this is a huge win.

Image credit: Giphy

People were pissed that SNL didn’t have any black females in their cast. They cast Sasheer Zamata and immediately people called it pacification, a proverbial lipstick on racist pigs. Now SNL has hired LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones as writers.

Image credit: Sasheer Zamata

SNL has provided important satirical insight into hundreds of cultural and political issues that we’ve faced over the past four decades. And in the U.S., few issues have been more important than the evolution of race and gender equality. That SNL didn’t have one black female contributing to its creativity or representing its product was bad. It just was. If you don’t get why, I can’t help you. You were probably really cool in high school.

One of my biggest problems is that I can’t tell what constitutes “newsworthiness” anymore. Blame a 24-hour news cycle. Blame TMZ. Blame the damn internet for this “clicks equals care” mentality (your headline may have garnered a smattering of my attention BuzzFeed, but that doesn’t mean I care about the 18 ways juicing is taking over my life). The truth is that the fight for attention has become just as important as bringing attention to important fights.

This was an important fight. One that, coincidentally, won the fight for attention. And that’s where irony kicks in, because even though this feels like a win, I have no idea who we beat.

Lorne Michaels has been running SNL for 38 years. If you believe that he or his staff were being intentionally biased in not hiring deserving black women, then the rabid attention that led to these hires is actually going to aid ratings and preserve the show’s executive hierarchy, racist or not.

So whether you’ve duped us championed us, my hat is off to you, Lorne Michaels.