Taraji P. Henson will be only the 10th black woman to host 'SNL' in 40 years

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News broke today that Taraji P. Henson is slated to host Saturday Night Live with musical guests Mumford & Sons on April 11. This is a big deal, and not just because of our undying love for the Empire star.


Though SNL has welcomed more than 500 hosts since its 1975 premiere, only nine — two percent — have been black women. Compare that to 311 white men (59 percent of hosts), 154 white women (29 percent), and 41 black men (8 percent).

The nine other African-American women to have hosted Saturday Night Live are Cicely Tyson (1979), Oprah Winfrey (1986), Halle Berry (2003), Janet Jackson (2004), Queen Latifah (2004), Rosario Dawson (2009), Maya Rudolph (2012), Gabourey Sidibe (2010), and Kerry Washington (2013). That's right: not a single black woman hosted in the '90s.

Yet black women aren't the only people Saturday Night Live is failing to represent. As of 2015, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, and Bruno Mars remain the only three hosts of Asian descent in SNL history. Although the show has recently made a concerted effort to diversify its cast, it's glaringly obvious that hosts of color (particularly female hosts of color) are still too few and far between.

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Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.