‘SNL’ Adds Sasheer Zamata, First Black Female Cast Member in Years

Sasheer Zamata will be the latest young comedian to join “Saturday Night Live,” Variety has confirmed.

As first reported by Deadline, Zamata will make her debut as a featured player on “SNL” on Jan. 18, the latenight program’s first live show in the new year. Zamata is a University of Virginia alum and trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade.

The thesp will be “SNL’s” first black female cast member since the departure of Maya Rudolph in 2007. “SNL” and Lorne Michaels came under fire in late 2013 over the cast’s lack of diversity, and the series poked fun at its own controversy during its opening seg when Kerry Washington hosted “SNL” in November.

News broke at the end of the year that “SNL” was holding auditions specifically to find black female cast members to join the program in 2014.

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