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Photo via the Hollywood Reporter

Photo via the Hollywood Reporter

Well this is a pleasant surprise!

Fresh off the announcement that Sasheer Zamata will become the first Black women to be a part of the SNL cast since 2007, news broke that the show will also add two black female writers to its roster.

LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones will join SNL writers on Monday. The pair was discovered during the “secret” auditions held for African-American women last year after the show came under fire for its lack of diversity.

The Hollywood Reporter give the details:

Jones, a stand-up actress-comedian who was a finalist for the new castmember spot, has performed at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, has guest-starred in comedies including The League, Sullivan & Son and written and appeared on Def Comedy Jam and 1st Amendment Stand Up. She’s performed at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal as well as the Aspen Comedy Festival. In 2011, her comedy special Problem Child was broadcast on Showtime. Jones is repped by Integral Entertainment and Pierce Law Group.

Actress-comedian Tookes, meanwhile, is a former news reporter from Florida who has performed at iO West.

Sources tell THR that producers were impressed with both Tookes and Jones and thought they were talented, smart and funny. There are currently no plans to have either appear onscreen, though SNL writers in the past have transitioned to larger roles.

While adding Zamata to the SNL lineup was awesome, adding two black woman writers is a really big deal. Hopefully the addition of Tookes and Jones will help SNL writers sidestep the stereotypical ways in which Black women are often portrayed on the show. We’ll keep our fingers crossed!

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  • Great! Now I want to watch the show.

  • Blue

    I’m not watching & never have before. I’m still feeling some kind of way that after the 20+ years the show has been on the air, it takes for you add black females to your casting after you get a bunch of complaints? Then I guess to soften the blow, you now add two black women to your writing team? That’s like saying “Oh to shut everyone p, lets add these women”. Now we’re supposed to be like “Yaaay black women are finally on the show now” I’m not knocking anyone who wants to watch to support these women. I can understand (sorta) But as for me, I would feel a lot different if there wasn’t a controversy behind the whole thing.