Comedian Jay Pharoah was fired from Saturday Night Live last summer, after six seasons of appearing on the show.
On Friday morning, Pharoah appeared on Hot 97’s Erbo in the Morning and spoke about his departure from SNL for the first time.
“You go where you’re appreciated,” Pharoah said. “If you have multiple people on the cast saying things like, “You’re so talented and you’re able and they don’t use you, it’s unfair and making us feel bad because they don’t use you and you’re a talent,’” he said.
Pharoah continued, saying “They put people into boxes and whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do. And I’m fiery. I’m not a yes n—-.”
Though famous for portrayals people such as President Barack Obama, or hip hop artist Jay-Z, Pharaoh said that he was put into an “impression box,” where he was only asked to do black impressions on the show. He was also unafraid to say no to certain skits, and mentioned that there was a negative reaction when he once refused to wear a dress.
“No disrespect to them, but I kind of feel they gave up … gave up on the Obama thing … I think it was just a ‘whatever attitude,” Pharoah said, adding that he would’ve liked to share scenes as Obama with Alec Baldwin’s Trump.
Previously, Pharoah was almost fired for criticizing the shows lack of black female comedians, calling SNL “Wonder Bread – straight up.” His comments went viral in 2013, but saw the hire of Leslie Jones and Sasheer Zamata.
Regardless of his criticism of the show, Pharoah has maintained that he has a good relationship with SNL creator Lorne Michaels.
“I like Lorne. Ain’t no problem with Lorne Michaels … there ain’t no beef with Lorne. We’re on good graces and everything, but there have been some shaky times, and that time was a shaky time.”
Overall, Pharoah views his time on SNL as a stepping stone to other opportunities, and has since landed a lead role on Showtime’s upcoming show White Famous.
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Source: Hot 97’s Erbo in the Morning