NEW YORK (AP) — NBC's "Saturday Night Live" plans to add one and possibly two black female performers to its cast as soon as January.

A representative for the show confirms reports that "SNL" is responding to complaints about its lack of diversity by holding showcases to choose at least one black female cast member immediately.

The New York Times reports that a special audition for seven or eight finalists was held Monday on the "SNL" stage.

The show has seen two dozen candidates in recent weeks in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Executive producer Lorne Michaels tells the Times that many of the performers "are really good."

Criticism was spurred this fall by two of the show's black male cast members, Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson.

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