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This Is Why Jay Pharoah Says He Was Fired From “Saturday Night Live”

In fall 2016, it was announced Jay Pharoah would not be coming back to the famed sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live.

The comedian, who is mostly known for his impressions which include former President Barack Obama and pretty much all of your favorite rappers and actors, was one of the few people of color on the show.

He recently spoke to radio station, Hot 97 about his firing. Pharoah joined the cast in 2010 and described his experience saying Saturday Night Live likes to put people in a box when it comes to what they do.

“They put people into boxes… whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do. I’m fiery too… I’m not a yes n—a,” said Pharoah.

Pharaoh’s most popular impersonation was of former President Obama, but that was cut down from the show to make room for Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump skits.

“If you really noticed, for the last year and a half, they didn’t do any Obama sketches. I was like, ‘Just let me do my character and we’ll be fine,”

said Pharoah.

The comedian also revealed he was almost fired in 2013 when he publicly criticized the variety show of not having any Black women in their cast.

“I was at the audition and I think me speaking up, they were ready to get rid of me in 2013, September,” said Pharoah.

As we all know now, Sasheer Zamata and Leslie Jones were added to the cast and they do pretty good work.

“Saturday Night Live” has been criticized for its lack of diversity in the past, but it seems they’re slowly making steps to improve. In addition to Zamata and Jones, Kenan Thompson and Michael Che round out the four people of color who are cast members.

You can watch Pharoah’s entire Hot 97 interview below.