“Saturday Night Live,” which was under attack in recent years for its lack of racial diversity — is now under scrutiny for its meager support of female guest hosts.
Emmy voting opened on Monday morning and it didn’t take long for observers to note that, of the nine “SNL” hosts submitted for consideration for Outstanding Guest Actor/Actress in a Comedy Series, all are men despite strong performances from female hosts during the show’s 40th season.
Seven of the 21 hosts of the NBC variety show’s 2014-15 season were women — many of them Oscar or Emmy winners themselves — but none made the cut as the official race for the Emmys kicked off.
Meanwhile, the men up for consideration include: Louis C.K., Jim Carrey, Bill Hader, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Hart, Chris Hemsworth, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Chris Rock and J.K. Simmons.
Shows can submit for Emmy consideration on behalf of talent, and talent can also submit on their own by paying a $200 fee. It’s not clear how the list of nine was determined — “SNL” obviously did not submit any of the female hosts, but it’s also possible that they didn’t submit any of the male hosts either. All nine submissions could have come from the male hosts’ reps.
It would be awfully curious, however, that out of 21 hosts only the men decided to submit themselves.
NBC representatives for “SNL” have not yet responded to TheWrap‘s request for comment.
The Comedy Guest Actress category started allowing variety contenders in 2009 and since then “SNL” has had at least one nomination each year, including wins for Tina Fey and Betty White.
Two years ago “SNL” came under fire for its lack of black female cast members. Jay Pharoah called attention to the insufficiency, and the issue picked up steam after fellow cast member Kenan Thompson suggested that no such comedians were qualified. The show itself addressed the issue in one of its opening skits, when host Kerry Washington was called upon to play a variety of black women, including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce.
The sketch was a not-so-subtle reference to the fact that “Saturday Night Live” hadn’t cast a black female performer since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007.
Perhaps in response to the outcry, the show hired three new African American women in early 2014 — cast member Sasheer Zamata and writers LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, who was later elevated to cast member.