Leslie Jones will not be returning to the Lorne Michaels-produced sketch comedy series when it returns in September for its new season.
Sources say Jones opted to depart the veteran comedy and will instead focus on her upcoming feature film projects and Netflix comedy special. Meanwhile, Emmy winner Kate McKinnon has closed a new deal to return to Saturday Night Live for its upcoming 45th season.
Sources close to the show tell TMZ that Leslie Jones is NOT returning for season 45 of ‘SNL’ and it’s all her decision.
Jones’ already filming the ‘Coming to America’ sequel with Eddie Murphy and even though he’s going to host ‘SNL’ this season for the first time in 35 years, she won’t be there to enjoy it as a cast member.
Also on deck for Jones, she’s signed on with Netflix for a comedy special, and we’re told she’s got some more movie projects in the works.
Jones joined SNL as a cast member back in 2014 after originally boarding the series as a writer and broke out during multiple appearances on its popular “Weekend Update” segments. Jones was one of the original comedians who were considered to join the sketch show back in December 2013 after SNL was criticized for having a predominantly white cast. Sasheer Zamata ultimately landed that spot.