NBC’s hit comedy skit show made the big announcement on Monday that Zamata would be their newest comedian and will star in new episodes later this month.
Zamata is from Indianapolis, but moved to New York in 2009 after graduating from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a degree in drama.
This won’t be the 27-year-old’s first time taking on comedy sketches either.
She has made several appearances on “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” and “Inside Amy Schumer” on Comedy Central.
She has also acted in many television commercials and on ABC’s “Would You Fall for That?”
“Saturday Night Live” has been under pressure to diversify their cast, especially with African-American women.
The call for African-American females reached a peak when the two Black men in the SNL cast, Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson, publicly announced they would no longer dress in drag to take on the roles of Black women.
The show debuted back in 1975 and since then its cast has remained predominantly white. There have only been four African-American females among the 137 regular cast members over the years.
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When the show first encountered the pressure to address diversity issues, they turned the situation into a comedy sketch by inviting actress Kerry Washington to be the host.
The show kicked off with the “Scandal” star looking exhausted after she was given the task of taking on the roles of Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce all at the same time, because there were no other Black female cast members to help out.
A producer from the show even came on stage to jokingly apologize for the number of roles Washington would have to take on for that one episode.
Meanwhile, executive producer Lorne Michaels was hosting comedy showcases nationwide to find an African-American female cast member to join the team.
Before discovering Zamata, Michaels said that finding a Black female cast member was a priority, but producers were looking for the right talent to fill the void.
“It’s not like it’s not a priority for us,” Michaels said two months ago. “It will happen. I’m sure it will happen.”
Zamata will star in the Jan. 18 episode, which will also feature rapper Drake as the host and musical guest.