*Leslie Jones may now consider her fellow “Saturday Night Live” cast mate Keenan Thompson “possibly my best friend on the show,” but Thompson’s comments about diversity on “SNL” caused things to start out shaky between them when they first met.
Responding to the uproar caused when folks noted a lack of black performers when the long-running sketch comedy show hired six new cast members, Thompson attributed the absence of black women on “SNL” to a lack of quality African American comediennes.
“Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready,” Thompson told TV Guide during an October 2013 interview. “It’s just a tough part of the business.”
Facing harsh criticism online for its lack of diversity and the fact that it would’ve been six straight years without an African American woman on the “SNL” roster, the show’s executive producer, Lorne Michaels, launched a nationwide search for as many as two black comediennes.
From the search came Sasheer Zamata and Jones, who made it her business to seek out Thompson for clarification on what he said more than two years ago.
“I came at him, like, ‘I heard what you said, motherf***er,’” she told The New Yorker. “He said, ‘Come in, close the door, let’s talk.’”
Despite standing by his remarks, Thompson took time to explain his reasoning behind his controversial comments.
“What I said was that the show hadn’t found the right people. That was true. And at the end of the day, Leslie and Sasheer both got jobs, so I’m happy,” he said.
Since then, things have been cool with Jones and Thompson. The power of a peaceful resolution. Gotta love it.