Sasheer Zamata was let go of SNL this week, and her departure was eerily silent.
Zamata joined the cast of SNL in 2013 in the midst of a media firestorm accusing the show of cultural insensitivity; barring Maya Rudolph and Ellen Cleghorne (who’s run came in the early 90s), the hadn’t featured African-American female talent. Zamata in the middle of season 39, a rare decision in SNL casting, presumably in response to the backlash.
Since joining the cast, Zamata has impersonated Rihanna, Michelle Obama, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce Knowles, Solange Knowles, Diana Ross, Lupita Nyong’o, and Taraji P. Henson.
On Zamata’s last show (Sat, May 20), fellow cast members Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan were seen off with a graduation sketch that didn’t include the likes of Ms. Zamata, and critics have taken note.
Some suspect that because Leslie Jones has more visibly filled the role of “African-American Female Cast Member,” the show no longer “needs” Zamata in the cast, so they quietly pushed her departure. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.