Amid cries of "THAT'S RACIST!" and the controversy that followed Kenan Thompson's remarks to TV Guide, Lorne Michaels and Saturday Night Live have continued their attempt to diversify the environment over at 30 Rock, this time adding two black, female writers to the staff.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Sasheer Zamata would be added to the cast as the first black, female member since Mya Rudolph left five years ago. Now, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones (both of whom participated in the recent auditions for black, female cast members) will be added to the show's writer's room.
Jones, an actress and stand-up comedian who was a finalist for the new castmember spot, has performed at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, guest-starred in comedies including The League and Sullivan & Son, and written for and appeared on Def Comedy Jam and 1st Amendment Stand Up. She's performed at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal as well as the Aspen Comedy Festival. In 2011, her comedy special Problem Child was broadcast on Showtime. Jones is repped by Integral Entertainment and Pierce Law Group.
Actress-comedian Tookes, meanwhile, is a former news reporter from Florida who has performed at iO West. Check out her character reel here.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that Tookes and/or Jones would eventually end up on-screen, as guys like Jason Sudeikis and, more recently, Mike O'Brien made similar transitions out of the writer's room and into America's living rooms. [The Hollywood Reporter]