“Saturday Night Live” alumni have gone on to great things, but one former star is speaking out against the iconic show. Jay Pharaoh left the show in August 2016, and in his six years with the program, he became the go-to man for impressions of African-American celebrities, including Denzel Washington, Jay-Z and Barrack Obama.
On Thursday, Pharaoh went on New York City hip-hop station Hot 97 where he spoke about leaving the show and the disagreements that he had with the direction of “SNL.” He explained that he left because “you go where you’re appreciated.” He also said that “multiple people on the cast were saying things like ‘you’re so talented, and they don’t use you.'”
Pharaoh continued: “They put people into boxes, and whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do.”
The former castmember also mentioned that he was upset by the lack of female African-American cast members on the show, recalling that “I almost lost my job” after he spoke out about the predominantly white cast. He also said that he’s glad he did “Saturday Night Live” but that he viewed it as “a steppingstone.”