Jay Pharoah Talks About Being Fired From "SNL"
I miss Jay.
This is Jay Pharoah.
The guy who did all those amazing impressions.
And the reason why SNL finally had sketches about black celebrities.
Those were the days.
This week, Jay spoke publicly about being fired from SNL in this interview with Hot 97, saying, "You go where you are appreciated."
Jay told the radio hosts, "[I had] multiple people on the cast saying things like, 'You're so talented and you're able and they don't use you and it's unfair.'"
You might remember that Jay was rarely featured in sketches unless he was doing an impression of a black celebrity. He explained that at SNL, performers are put into boxes.
Jay also admitted that he was pretty opinionated, which was undoubtedly a contributing factor to his departure. "I'm fiery... I'm not a 'yes nigga.'"
According to Pharoah, SNL writers would approach him with sketches like "we got this great idea where you put on a dress," and he'd be all, "no, I'm not doing that."
Which according to this interview with David Chappelle, is a trope that black male comedians are asked to do a lot.
Jay also talked about the backlash he received after speaking up about the lack of black women on the show. He said the producers "were ready to get rid of me in September 2013 when I spoke up."
In 2014 after public outcry, SNL hired three black women — Sasheer Zamata, Leslie Jones, and LaKendra Tookes — and Jay claimed some responsibility for making that happen.
Seems like a tough break. But remember, it's their loss, Jay. Their loss. Not yours. Theirs.
And now you're starring on a new show, White Famous, on Showtime and living your best life. So congrats!
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