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'SNL' spoofs '12 Years a Slave'

'SNL' spoofs '12 Years a Slave'

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Mar 2, 2014

The already award-winning film "12 Years a Slave" is nominated for nine Oscars on March 2, but "Saturday Night Live" wanted to pay a special tribute before Sunday's show to the caucasian actors who may have portrayed roles in the film against their better judgment.

In a skit featuring cast member Kenan Thompson as film director Steve McQueen, "'Saturday Night Live' envisions that as rigorous as the audition process likely was for those portraying slaves, the caucasian actors who wanted parts probably had to face another awkward hurdle: Being politically correct during the auditions," reports the Huffington Post.

Black cast members Jay Pharoah and Shaseer Zamata play, respectively, an inense cameraman filming the auditions and a production assistant, while white actors including Brooks Wheelan and Jim Parsons are seen squirming in the skit due to the uncomfortable script material.

"Casting was a real challenge, specifically the smaller supporting roles," intones Thompson (as McQueen) dryly. "We needed those characters to be believable and authentic. So, we sought out to discover raw talent through open calls." 

Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong play casting agents who ask Todd (Wheelan) auditioning for "friendly guy in film" to actually "try out hostile slave owner." "Noooo," Todd says when he reads through the script. "Don't want to say those words."

"SNl" host Parsons, a real-life star of "The Big Bang Theory," auditions for the same role and is told to scream using cameraman "Jerome as an eye-line, so you can talk to him in person." Begs Parsons, "Please don't make me do this."

White male actors further avoid going off script and refuse to hold a prop whip.

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Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.