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Don Lemon: New SNL Cast Member Must Be ‘Funnier Than She Is Black’

On his commentary segment of the Tom Joyner Show Tuesday, CNN anchor Don Lemon addressed Saturday Night Live’s hiring of Sasheer Zamata following criticism of the show’s lack of diversity. Zamata will be the first African-American female cast member in seven years and only the fourth in the sketch comedy show’s history.

“Look for a Beyoncé spoof for sure, something Zamata says she’s good at, and you’ll probably see a wicked Michelle Obama impersonation,” Lemon predicted for her premier.

“You can also look for a whole lot of scrutiny and criticism from some who are looking for an excuse to say she got her job to fill a quota because she’s black,” he continued. “That always happens from people who don’t understand the need for diversity and who don’t understand why it’s important to expand and enhance traditional recruiting methods to find diverse talent.”

“That said,” Lemon concluded, “it probably won’t be easy for Zamata—who, in the glaring spotlight that’s about to be trained on her, is going to have to be a whole lot funnier than she is black.”

Listen to the audio here, via the Tom Joyner Show:

[Image via screengrab]

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