December 13th, 2013
02:59 PM ET
It looks like Lorne Michaels may be about to prove Kenan Thompson wrong.
The "Saturday Night Live" producer told the New York Times the show has been holding auditions to add an African-American female cast member in January, the first since actress Maya Rudolph left in 2007. Michaels said he's been holding casting sessions to find the right person.
"All told we’ve seen about 25 people,” he said. “A lot of the people we saw are really good. Hopefully we’ll come out of the process well.”
In October, "SNL" cast member Kenan Thompson told TV Guide the late night show had difficulty finding qualified black female comedians to hire. He insisted that the talent pool was limited because so many of the women were not seasoned enough for the gig. His words set off a firestorm of controversy regarding what some have seen as "SNL's" lack of racial and gender diversity.
Comedian Gabrielle Dennis tweeted a picture of herself and a group of other black female comics she said she had met during a "SNL" showcase.
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