Is Saturday Night Live racist?


Not a day goes by without some member of the Hollywood elite reminding Catholics about how bigoted, xenophobic and close minded they are.

Yet, when one looks at the ethnic make-up of the rich and famous, one sees – at least according to their own logic – a sort of systemic oppression taking place.

Seriously, have you ever noticed that the audience at the Oscars is overwhelmingly white? Ever notice that the nightly news anchors on ABC (Diane Sawyer), CBS (Scott Pelley) and NBC (Brian Williams) are white? Did you know that there has never been a black Bachelor or Bachelorette?

Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that if MSNBC was in charge of covering the Oscars, the audience’s skin color would be the first topic of conversation. I mean, that’s all they talked about when they covered the Tea Party. Why wouldn’t they report on the ‘white-ness” of Hollywood? Right?

Having said that, I found it rather odd that of the six new cast members hired on at Saturday Night Live, five of them are white men. And only one is a woman, also white. Why isn’t Al Sharpton upset about this? I thought to myself.


For a program that has not been shy about expressing its disdain for Catholic teaching, it is strange to see SNL producer Lorne Michaels, who was recently pressured into explaining why the show hasn’t had a black female cast member since 2007, decide to buck liberal orthodoxy.

Kenan Thompson, one of the two African American cast members on the show, got in some hot water from the left for saying that Michaels is not to blame. Taking an approach not dissimilar from a business owner who believes in hiring the most qualified candidates, Thompson said that the black actors who audition for the show, black women in particular, are simply not ready for prime-time. In other words, they just don’t have what it takes to be on the air.

This weekend, Kerry Washington, an African American woman, will host SNL. I don’t plan on watching it, quite frankly because I believe it to be harmful to my soul, but for the TV critics that do, I’m sure the issue of race is going to be on their minds.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Stephen Kokx is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Peace and Justice. His writing on religion, politics and Catholic social teaching has appeared in a number of outlets, including Crisis Magazine, The American Thinker and his hometown paper The Grand Rapids Press. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and is a graduate of Aquinas College and Loyola University Chicago. Follow Stephen on twitter @StephenKokx

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