Kerry Washington's turn as host of Saturday Night Live was not only a hit with critics and castmates — they gave her a standing ovation — but with audiences, too. Washington's episode of the sketch comedy show, which aired this past Saturday, was the highest-rated of the season, according to NBC. In fact, the episode was most popular with viewers since Justin Timberlake's March 9 turn.
The Scandal star was praised by critics for her humorous yet direct approach to SNL's recent diversity controversy (cast members Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson called out the show for its lack of Black female comedians). In the opening sketch, Washington played everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Michelle Obama before an omniscient voice apologized to the actress for requiring her to play all the Black female roles.
While the decision to have Washington host may have been conveniently timed to diffuse the tension the long-running show has been facing lately, its hard to deny that SNL and Washington did a stellar job to both address and move past the bad press. Olivia Pope would be proud.
Now, hopefully SNL boss Lorne Michaels will step up his efforts to bring more funny women of color to the show.
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(Photo: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)