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NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Adds Sasheer Zamata to Cast

SNL Black Female Cast Member Sasheer Zamata
Robyn Von Swank

The long-running NBC sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live” has named Upright Citizen’s Brigade veteran Sasheer Zamata as its newest black female cast member.

Deadline reports that Zamata will debut as a featured player among the cast in the first 2014 installment, with singer Drake both hosting and performing.

Zamata is a New York-based performer who emerged from a nationwide audition that saw dozens of comedic performers in several U.S. cities, and was chosen from among 12 invited to try out in New York.

Zamata becomes the first black female performer among the “SNL” cast since Maya Rudolph‘s exit five years ago, when current cast member Jay Pharoah spoke out against the lack of diversity among the cast.

Co-star Kenan Thompson had tired of being called on to perform such roles, and “SNL” had tackled the matter on Kerry Washington‘s cold opening referencing the 39th season’s generic additions to the cast.

Next: Watch the Best 'Saturday Night Live' Skits of 2013

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