The 'Scandal' actress is set to host a November 2 episode after Kenan Thompson pointed out a lack of talented black female comediennes on the variety show.
Kerry Washington will make her debut on "Saturday Night Live". The Emmy-nominated actress will host the November 2 episode of the sketch series with Eminem as musical guest. For the rapper, it will be the sixth time he's performing on the show.
As it was previously announced, actor Edward Norton would also make his hosting debut on "SNL" a week prior, on October 26. Joining him will be Janelle Monae, who will serve as musical guest.
Washington's casting comes just days after regular cast member Kenan Thompson talked about a lack of black female comedians on the show. "It's just a tough part of the business," he said. "Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready."
Asked what they would do if they needed to spoof a black female character in the future, he told TVGuide.com, "I don't know. We just haven't done them. That's what I'm saying. Maybe [Jay Pharaoh] will do it or something, but even he doesn't really want to do it." Thompson previously portrayed Maya Angelou, Mo'Nique and Jennifer Hudson but has since stopped playing those characters.
In the show's 38-year run, there's only been four black female cast members: Yvonne Hudson (1980-81), Danitra Vance (1985-86), Ellen Cleghorne (1991-95) and Maya Rudolph (2000-2007). The newest additions to the cast ensemble include five male comedians and one female star, all of whom are white.