After receiving public criticism for not having a regular black actress who could portray black women in skits, Saturday Night Live responded with a huge step toward diversifying its cast by hiring Sasheer Zamata, their first black woman in 6 years. After hiring Zamata, SNL hired two more black women, LeKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, as writers for the show.
After Saturday night’s episode, Leslie Jones caught a lot of heat for her “Weekend Update” skit with Colin Jost. Jone’s monologue was not well received by many viewers. She essentially said in slave days, she would have been the most popular woman on the plantation for forced slave breeding.
“See, I’m single right now, but back in the slave days, I would have never been single. I’m six feet tall and I’m strong, Colin. Strong! I mean, look at me, I’m a mandingo … I’m just saying that back in the slave days, my love life would have been way better. Massah would have hooked me up with the best brotha on the plantation… I would be the No. 1 slave draft pick.”
After the sketch, the criticism began — with Ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux tweeting, “This Leslie Jones person is an embarrassment @msmarypryor. I’m so appalled right now.”
Jones fired back on Sunday — writing,
“If anybody should be offended is white folks cause it’s what they did. Y’all so busy trying to be self righteous you miss what the joke really is. Very sad I have to defend myself to black people. Now I’m betting if Chris Rock or Dave [Chappelle] did that joke or jay z or Kanye put in a rap they would be called brilliant. Cause they all do this type of material. Just cause it came from a strong black woman who ain’t afraid to be real y’all mad. So here is my announcement black folks, you won’t stop me and Im gonna go even harder and deeper now. Cause it’s a shame that we kill each other instead of support each other. This exactly why black people are where we are now cause we too f***** sensitive and instead of make lemonade out of lemons we just suck the sour juice from the lemons. Wake up.”
What do you think UC readers? Did Jones take things too far in her skit? Do you think her gender has anything to do with the amount of criticism she received?