'SNL' promotes black woman to its cast from writing staff in latest bid for diversity

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NEW YORK — "Saturday Night Live" is giving its on-screen diversity another boost. NBC says the comic institution is adding Leslie Jones to its cast.

The African-American comedian wins her on-camera role after serving as a writer on the show last season.

Jones has been a featured performer at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal and the Aspen Comedy Festival. She starred in a one-hour comedy special "Problem Child" on Showtime.

She came to "SNL" in January, along with fellow writer LaKendra Tookes as well as Sasheer Zamata, who was signed to join the cast at that time.

Those hirings came after "SNL" had been criticized for a lack of diversity, particularly the absence of any black women among the regular or featured players.


Online:

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live

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