05:29 PM EDT 11/18/2014
Originally posted 12/13/2013 12:30PM
Saturday Night Live plans to add one or two black female performers to its cast as soon as January.
A representative for the NBC sketch-comedy show on Thursday confirmed reports it's answering complaints about its lack of diversity by staging showcases to choose at least one black female cast member and to hire her within weeks.
In recent weeks, the show has seen two-dozen candidates in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
The New York Times reported that a special audition for seven or eight finalists will be held Monday on the SNL stage in Manhattan.
It's "100 percent good for the show to have an African-American woman" in its ranks, executive producer Lorne Michaels told The Times.
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!