Awkwafina first Asian Female SNL Host after 18 years
Finally, it’s time to end SNL’s 18-year run without as Asian female host as Awkwafina takes up the stage. The Crazy Rich Asians actress and rapper now becomes the second Asian woman to ever host this variety show by NBC. And that also makes her the fifth ever Asian or Asian-American host for SNL. Previously, celebrities like Aziz Ansari in 2017, Kumail Nanjiani in 2017, and Jackie Chan in 2000 also made their names onto the list. As Awkwafina stepped onto the Studio 6H stage on Saturday, she made history. Most significantly, as she broke the absence of a female Asian host on SNL for the last 18 years.
The announcement of Awkwafina joining SNL as a host naturally gave people the thrill and excitement. It was a joyous news especially for Asians and Asian-Americans who have been craving for recognition on television. On Friday, Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu even made an Instagram post sharing the news. He wrote that he was headed to New York to see Awkwafina make history with her hosting at SNL. And that this woman deserved this honor more than anybody else he knows.
Ever since SNL went live in 1975, it has aired almost 44 seasons with a total of more than 800 episodes. But 43 years on television, and the majority of hosts for SNL have been white. According to a study from 2016, 90% of the hosts from 1975 to 2016 were white. Only 6.8% remained black, and 1.2% were Hispanic. However, recently, the trends have been changing. Not just in television overall, but have been particularly evident with SNL. It has been striving to diversify its team and cast. Not only have they added more black hosts and writers to the show, but many of the nominees for Academy Awards this year were also black.
Considering that only 5 Asian or Asian-American hosts have been present on SNL for the past 43 years is sad. What’s even more upsetting is that no Asian woman has ever hosted the show in the past 18 years. But with Awkwafina taking up the SNL stage, things are about to get exciting.