Leslie Jones Opens Up About ‘Saturday Night Live’ Departure

Leslie Jones has confirmed she is leaving “Saturday Night Live,” after reports of her departure emerged last week. 

In a series of tweets Tuesday, the comedian bid her farewell to the legendary sketch comedy show, which is set to return to NBC for its 45th season later this month.

“I cannot thank NBC, the producers, writers, and amazing crew enough for making SNL my second home these last five years,” she wrote in a post accompanied by a video montage (a viral internet challenge called the “DMX challenge”) of her “SNL” journey through the years.

Jones then thanked “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels for changing her life “in so many ways.”

“Thank you for being my mentor and confidant and for always having my back,” she added. “You not only have my loyalty but you have my heart too! You have shown me skills I never imagined I had. I leave a better performer because of you.”

In following posts, Jones thanked her fellow cast members, including shoutouts to Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon and Colin Jost. She noted that she’ll miss “holding it down” with Thompson; she referred to Jost as a “porcelain-skinned Ken doll.”

Jones later thanked her fans for their support. She teased that she has some “amazing projects and adventures” to announce. Last month, Variety reported that Jones had booked a Netflix comedy special set to release in 2020.

Jones, who has earned three Emmy nominations for her performances on “SNL,” joined the sketch comedy show in 2014. At 47, she became the oldest cast member the show had ever hired, according to The Washington Post. She initially joined the show as a writer months prior.

The comedian also notably became only the sixth Black female cast member to be hired on the show, which has struggled with racial diversity ― particularly with a lack of Black women ― throughout its history.

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