Just last week, cast members Bobby Moynihan and Vanessa Bayer also announced that they were leaving.
None of these actors' exits was formally acknowledged on air, but afterward, all three were carried on stage by their co-stars, Vanity Fair reports. Zamata shared a photo of herself with the episode's host Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Weekend Update" host Colin Jost on Instagram with the caption, "Wow. What a fantastic end to a fantastic season, thanks SNL."
When she joined in 2014, Zamata was the first Black woman on SNL's cast since the show said goodbye to Maya Rudolph in 2007. At the time, SNL was facing criticism for the lack of racial diversity among its actors. One of its stars, Kenan Thompson, had suggested that the show didn't have enough qualified women of color to choose from, but Zamata proved him wrong.
Producer Lorne Michaels held auditions with the goal of increasing diversity, and Zamata showed up to one. "I had been auditioning for the show for a couple years before this point and then they asked for a rushed showcase of black women in LA and in New York, and I was in the New York one," she recounted to NPR. "It was very stressful. I didn't love that it was so public."
She soon became known for portraying icons like Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna. Earlier this month, she starred as Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay in an unaired sketch poking fun at how the reality dating show has addressed race.
It's unclear what Zamata's reasons for leaving were, but given her great performances on SNL and in her standup, movies, and comedy videos, we're sure she has an exciting career ahead of her.