This week will mark a historic milestone for Tiffany Haddish and Saturday Night Live.
Believe it or not, on Saturday, Haddish will become the first Black woman comedian to host the sketch comedy and variety show.
The Girls Trip breakout star shared the exciting news on her Instagram, writing, “This Saturday, 11/11 on #SNL!! Can you believe I will be the very #first black female comedian host?!? #SheReady”
Haddish’s meteoric rise in Hollywood brings joy to us all, but this moment also comes with a sobering bit of reality: Black women comics continuously get slept on.
Not even the G.O.A.T herself Whoopi Goldberg has been invited to host “SNL” in its 40-year plus run on television. Sister Act Whoopi. EGOT award-winning Whoopi.
It’s seriously a shame.
Goldberg did, however, guest star in a few sketches in 1986 and 2013.
SNL’s cast gave us some of most beloved Black comics from Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock to current mainstays Kenan Thompson and Leslie Jones. But the truth is, it’s always had a race problem.
In 2013, the show’s diversity can had its lid blown off and was put on blast for not hiring a Black woman cast member in the years since Maya Rudolph‘s departure in 2007 . Thanks to the demanding echo chamber for more diversity, SNL eventually hired Sasheer Zamata in 2014.
But when you consider its history on race and representation, it’s no surprise SNL would, in 2017, just now have its first Black woman comedian to hold down the coveted guest host spot.
It doesn’t, however, make it any less shameful.
When further reviewing the list of African-American hosts in the past decade, the number is quite dismal; particularly for Black women. With the exception of former SNL cast members, Drake, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, LeBron James, Kevin Hart and Jamie Foxx are the only Black men to host; with Johnson, Hart and Drake appearing more than once.
Only four Black women have hosted SNL since 2005: Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Gabourey Sidibe.
Black comedy, and the culture at large, continues to exist on the sidelines of Hollywood, but at least we have small victories like Tiffany Haddish (Chance the Rapper will also make his hosting debut on Nov. 18).
Maybe SNL is learning from its past and is making a concerted effort to change the tide, or maybe they’re simply continuing the status quo. Whatever it is, we can at least relish in Haddish’s Black girl magic and tune in for what’s to come.