She's the show’s first Latina cast member in over 40 seasons
Melissa Villaseñor / Flickr
Melissa Villaseñor is Saturday Night Live’s first Latina cast member. For a historic live comedy show that has struggled with diversity over its 41 season history, the new addition to the cast should be welcome and even celebrated news.
Instead, the headlines across the Internet are all about how the 28-year-old comedian was caught deleting more than 2,000 tweets from her history, several of which have been confirmed to contain culturally insensitive material where it’s unclear if Villaseñor is trying to be funny or actually making offensive, racist comments.
'I'm excited about the first latina on SNL but not gonna lie: deleting 2K tweets in 5 days is... odd,’ Bogado posted to her own Twitter account.
Unfortunately, Bogado’s skepticism was confirmed when she and other people online began tracking down some of Villaseñor’s deleted tweets, many of which are targeted at African-Americans and Asians. However, in one deleted tweet, she also made a joke about Mexicans.
Since Saturday Night Live and Villaseñor have yet to respond to the tweets it’s unclear how many were purely meant as jokes and how many, if any, were rooted in actual prejudice or stereotypes.
On the surface, the situation sounds similar to that of “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, who it was revealed had many disparaging comments on his own Twitter account before getting the big promotion to replace Jon Stewart. Noah survived that controversy and has even slowly began to win over viewers and critics after a rock first year on the job. In the meantime, Bogado isn’t buying the claim of many on Twitter that the earlier tweets were “just jokes” from someone developing their comedic voice.