Dear Kenan Thompson:
I don’t hate you, but know that if I could order a bolt of lightning, I’d probably have it delivered about two feet from you. I don’t want to strike you down with great vengeance, but I wouldn’t mind spooking the senselessness out of you. If not for me, for the Black women who deserved better than to see yet another high profile Black man throw them under the bus.
I read your TVGuide.com interview and I can’t help but sit here and think that the universe owes Kel Mitchell an apology.
When asked about Saturday Night Live’s longstanding problem with diversity— specifically with casting women of color—you faulted those who suffer from the disease rather than the cancer behind it. On the lack of Black female comedians, you explained, “It’s just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
Your tongue must’ve smelled like the bottom of your shoe after spewing this nonsense that helped spare a show runner from legitimate criticism.
This frame of thinking is problematic for a multitude of reasons. For one thing, it’s rooted in the premise that SNL pulls most of its cast members from the comedy scene. Lorne Michaels often selects people from the worlds of improv and sketch: Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, etc. There are Black women around; they’re just not being selected for the show. The same can be said of Black female comedians.
What you’re doing here, Good Burger, is echoing the same kind of rhetoric White men have employed for eons now to exclude anyone who isn’t one of them from positions of power—or even merely a seat at the table. How soon some of us forget.
For Black women to see this once again repeated from someone who looks like their son, their cousin, their father, or in your case, the ex that treated them badly…it’s hurtful.
This isn’t about Black women being prepared; it’s about a White man’s perspective and that fueling his lack of drive to diversify. Maybe Michaels feels that SNL conveys a certain point of view with its comedy and believes not many Black women are equipped to present it. He has every right to hold onto such a foolhardy belief, but it’s not a Black woman’s fault that he has it.
Read the rest at EBONY.com.