Sasheer Zamata Becomes 3rd Star to Leave ‘SNL’ After This Season: Reports

Zamata was hired as a performer in 2014, following public criticism of the show's lack of diversity

Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait, File

Bobby Moynihan and Vanessa Bayer had announced before Saturday's "SNL" season 42 finale that they were departing the series. Now a third star, Sasheer Zamata, also quietly made her own exit.

Zamata's last "Saturday Night Live" performance was the season finale on Saturday May 20, according to multiple sources, including DeadlineVariety and Vanity Fair. She was a member of the show for four seasons. NBC, producers and Zamata have not commented.

But the actress dropped a hint about it in the final moments of the show, visibly tearing up as host Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson said goodbye, surrounded by the cast, musical guest Katy Perry and guest star Scarlett Johansson. Zamata also posted on her Instagram page Sunday a photo of "The Rock" and co-star Colin Jost hoisting her up in the air onstage when the cameras stopped rolling.

"Wow. What a fantastic end to a fantastic season, thanks SNL," she wrote.

"Saturday Night Live" Alumni

Behind-the-scenes photos that have circulated online also show guest stars Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks hoisting Moynihan on their shoulders, while SNL performers Beck Bennett and Alex Moffat carried Bayer.

Zamata was hired as a performer in 2014, following public criticism of the show's lack of diversity. She was the first black woman to be cast on the show since Maya Rudolph left in 2007.

"We'd lost four men, so what we were thinking about was replacing men," creator Lorne Michaels told Deadline that year. "We brought in three women the year before. I'm always looking for people I think have the best possible shot at succeeding, because when it doesn't work, it's really rough, both on them and on the show."

Leslie Jones, who was initially hired solely as an "SNL" writer, remains the only black female star currently on the show and is one of its most popular performers.

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