'Saturday Night Live' Hires First Black Female Cast Member in Years

Meet Sasheer Zamata, who will make her debut on Jan. 18.

January 06, 2014, 5:04 PM

Jan. 6, 2014 -- There's going to be a new face on "Saturday Night Live" soon!

Comedian Sasheer Zamata has joined the cast, reps confirmed to ABC News. Zamata is the first black female cast member on the show in a number of years.

A performer at Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater in New York City and L.A., Zamata, who goes by "Sheer," also has a web series called "Pursuit of Sexiness" and does stand-up comedy.

Once a correspondent on ABC's "Would You Fall For That?" Zamata, who wrote on he website that she loves thrift shopping and eating, has also appeared on "Inside Amy Schumer" on Comedy Central and "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" on FX.

The hiring comes after a public outcry last year that the show lacked diversity, which was addressed on the episode hosted by Kerry Washington. In one sketch, in which she played Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama, a crawl read, "The producers at 'Saturday Night Live' would like to apologize to Kerry Washington for the number of black women she will be asked to play tonight." Still, it was a criticism the show took seriously. According to the Hollywood Reporter, auditions featuring minority female comedians were held in L.A. and New York City.

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