‘SNL’ hires cast member who could play Michelle Obama

"Saturday Night Live" has added a black woman to its cast after criticism about the lack of diversity on the show.

Sasheer Zamata, a graduate of the University of Virginia who trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York, will be a featured player on the comedy sketch program, NBC announced on Monday.

Zamata and other comedians were asked to give a Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaOvernight Tech: Facebook's Sandberg comes to Washington | Senate faces new surveillance fight | Warren enters privacy debate Michelle Obama signs up for Snapchat Michelle Obama: 'It's time for us to come together' MORE impersonation while trying out for the show, according to The New York Times.

"SNL" has used its skits to comment upon the criticism about its lack of diversity. When "Scandal" star Kery Washington hosted in November, she portrayed first lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce in a single sketch.

After Washington hosted, executive producer Lorne Michaels committed to hiring a black woman for the program, and told the Times 25 had auditioned.

Maya Rudolph, who left in 2007, was the most recent black woman on "SNL."

Kenan Thompson had played Winfrey and others in the past but recently announced he did not want to do any more drag impressions.

There have 137 regular cast members since "SNL" debuted in 1975, debut but only four have been black women, according to the Associated Press.

More in News

Obama: 'Muhammad Ali shook up the world’

Read more »