'Saturday Night Live' Adds Sasheer Zamata as Newest Castmember - Broadcasting & Cable

'Saturday Night Live' Adds Sasheer Zamata as Newest Castmember

Upright Citizens Brigade alum will debut when sketch show returns Jan. 18
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Saturday Night Live's season of change continues as the late-night sketch show has added Sasheer Zamata as its newest castmember.

Zamata will join SNL as a featured player beginning Jan. 18, when the show returns from its winter hiatus. Zamata joins SNL's six other new castmembers that started in September: Beck Bennett, Noel Wells, Brooks Wheelen, Mike O'Brien, John Milhiser and Kyle Mooney.

Zamata's hire comes a few months after the longrunning late-night series came under fire for its lack of diversity; its two other African-American cast members Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson had spoken out about the lack of an African-American female on the show, causing executive producer Lorne Michaels to hold a secret audition to find one.

SNL even poked fun at itself during its Nov. 2 show hosted by Kerry Washington, where she had to play notables such as Michelle Obama, Beyonce and Oprah in the same sketch. The opening segment even included a joke on-screen apology about the show's lack of diversity.

SNL will have one more change, as head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers will depart sometime in February as he moves on to host Late Night beginning Feb. 24.

Deadline first reported the story.

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