Saturday Night Live favorite Leslie Jones won’t be returning to the late-night comedy show this fall.
The comedienne is departing from NBC’s long-running comedy sketch show as its 45th season is expected to debut on September 28. Jones made her SNL debut back in 2014 and has had a successful five-season run on the show. First reported by Deadline, news of Jones departure has not been confirmed by NBC. Her representatives have also kept mum on the matter.
Meanwhile, Kate McKinnon has reportedly chosen to return for Season 45 after being rumored to be considering an exit from the show.
Deadline reports that Jones made the decision to leave the series before her contract ended. The standard contract for performers are for seven years but they can choose to be released earlier with their options picked up after every year.
Jones has been one of the most effective performers on the show’s ensemble cast. She is known for her frequent commentaries on the Weekend Update segment of the show tackling political and social issues. She is also known as the oldest person to join the variety show as an actor after she joined the cast at 47 years old.
Her 2014 entrance marked the first time SNL had more than one African American woman in the ensemble cast. Jones was given an Emmy nod both in 2017 and 2018 for the outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series category. So what’s next for her? Multiple projects including upcoming films and a Netflix comedy special is in the cards.