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Addressing criticism over its lack of African American women in the cast, NBC‘s “Saturday Night Live” held an audition for black comediennes at The Groundlings in Los Angeles earlier this month, according to

The show holds showcase/auditions for potential new talent with some regularity in various locations. But this one attracted more media attention than usual because it was set up for black female hopefuls. It took place a few months after the NBC late night series announced its lineup of new hires – not one of them an African American woman.

Adding to the slight were comments from two black male cast members in response to the controversy. Jay Pharoah told website The Grio he hoped the show would add a black woman, “like they said they were going to do last year,” and Kenan Thompson told TV Guide the problem is “they never find ones [black comediennes] that are ready.”

According to Deadline, one of the women who participated in the December 1 audition, Bresha Webb of TV One’s “Love That Girl,” told blogger Jasmine Brand she’d had the opportunity to audition for “SNL” last summer, but it conflicted with her schedule on “Love That Girl.”

“We were just happy that some new black women in comedy were being considered and given a shot. We even held hands, prayed after the showcase,” she is quoted as saying; her interview was accompanied by a photo of about a dozen black women together backstage.

(Photo: PRPhotos)

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