Black Voices

'SNL' Adds Two Black Writers, LaKendra Tookes And Leslie Jones, After Hiring Black Cast Member (VIDEO)

The creative minds over at “Saturday Night Live” are once again in the headlines for a second time this week for adding diversity to the show's staff.

While Monday’s announcement resulted in the hiring of the first black comedienne, Sasheer Zamata, to star on the show since Maya Rudolph’s departure -- today producers announced the hiring of two African-American writers.

The Hollywood Reporter reports, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, who will join SNL’s pool of writers beginning Jan. 13, were selected following recent casting auditions focused primarily for minority women.

Sources tell THR that producers were impressed with both Tookes and Jones and thought they were talented, smart and funny. There are currently no plans to have either appear on-screen, though SNL writers in the past have transitioned to larger roles.

The announcement places the actress-comediennes alongside the likes of comedian JB Smoove, who also served as a staff writer for the weekly late-night comedy sketch series for three seasons from 2003 to 2006.

The new season of "Saturday Night Live" featuring guest host, Drake, premieres on Jan. 18.

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