Saturday Night Live may make fun of dramatic scenarios that happen in the news and celebrity world, but that doesn't mean that the popular series doesn't have it's own bouts of serious drama with its own cast. Former cast member Jay Pharoah openly talked about what it was like to be on the series after landing in hot water and almost being fired, and then what it was like to later be actually fired from the series. Pharoah stopped by the radio station Hot 97 to talk about his relationship with the weekly sketch show, which still sounds really tense. His biggest problem with the series? “They put people into boxes… whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do," he said. "I’m fiery too… I’m not a yes n----."
Pharoah was let go from the show eight months ago, after joining as a cast member in 2010. He told the radio station that the first ripples started to form back in 2013 when he starting pointing out the lack of diversity in the cast. "I was at the audition and I think me speaking up, they were ready to get rid of me in 2013, September," he said. Even if it put him in hot water, he still stuck around performing his memorable impressions of Jay Z, Barack Obama, and other notable black actors like Denzel and Will Smith. In response, the show did take his advice and cast two new Black comedians (Sasheer Zamata and Leslie Jones), but the overall conflict between him and the other writers persisted.
After Trump's election, Pharoah told the writers to just let him continue his impressions, but they were slowly disappearing from the line-ups. "If you really noticed, for the last year and a half, they didn’t do any Obama sketches” he said. “ I was like, ‘Just let me do my character and we’ll be fine." But, Pharoah is already doing fine without the series. He is set to appear in a comedy on Showtime alongside Jamie Foxx, White People, as well as performing stand-up.
Watch the full interview below.