Next Season, Let’s See SNL Do Better at Portraying Black Women

Your Take: Saturday’s Jay Z-Solange skit was funny. But this season, Saturday Night Live didn’t make the most of its newly diversified writers’ room and ensemble.

Saturday Night Live spoofs the Jay Z-Solange elevator fight NBC Universal

Research shows that the negative perceptions of black men and women that form in TV audiences’ minds as a result of dehumanizing portrayals translate into greater chances that we’ll be shot by the police, receive diminished attention from doctors and get less consideration when applying for jobs, loans and educational opportunities. SNL may never be a “black show,” but what happens on its stages matters.

Adding black women to the cast and writers’ room was a big first step, but Saturday Night Live has some choices to make as it prepares for its 40th season next fall. After Saturday’s cold open, I couldn’t help feeling a little more hopeful: Perhaps, next season, the writers’ room can get it right. Only time will tell. We’ll be watching.

Rashad Robinson is executive director of, the nation’s largest online civil rights organization. Follow on Twitter.

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