This week, it came out that Saturday Night Live has been quietly auditioning black female comedians recently in response to the criticisms about the lack of diversity in the new cast. Lorne Michaels confirmed that the show is indeed planning on hiring at least one new castmember in January. The Daily News reports today that at least three women have been offered callbacks for the spot: Sasheer Zamata, Natasha Rothwell, and Kerry Coddett.

All three, who are alumnae of the Upright Citizens Brigade, took part in a secret showcase called "It's a Character Thing," which was held on Dec. 2 at the People's Improv Theater in Manhattan (there was also an audition in LA at the Groundlings theater the day before). Michaels was on hand for the Manhattan audition: "We had no idea that we were witnessing 'SNL' auditions," a witness told the News. "I remember thinking it was interesting that all of the performers were women of color. When the last comedienne of the night, Kerry Coddett, came out she had her purse in her hand and joked 'I would've left my bag in the back, but did you see how many black women there were backstage?'"

Coddett's name may sound familiar, because she wrote an indictment of the lack of diversity on SNL in November: "The show's long history suggests that Saturday Night Live just doesn't know what to do with black women," she wrote. "The roles it offers to them fall in line with much of the rest of popular media: stereotypical, demeaning, and scarce...Perhaps it’s not that black women aren’t 'ready' for SNL; it’s that SNL isn’t ready for a black woman. And it won’t be—until the show is ready to change the roles it asks black actresses to play."