Leslie Jones has been promoted from the writer’s room to become the newest member of the long-running comedy show Saturday Night Live.
This will be the first time in 39-year-old show’s history that two black women will be part of the featured cast simultaneously. Jones joins Sasheer Zamata, who was asked to join SNL in early 2014 because Keenan Thompson refused to perform in drag, thus necessitating the addition of a female African-American cast member.
Jones was hired at the same time to be a writer for the sketch show but has now been promoted to full-time cast member.
Previous to the announcement, Jones had been a recurring guest on Weekend Update; now, the actress will be featured on a variety of sketches. Jones’ first role on the hit program was a controversial appearance on the popular Weekend Update segment where her character talked about sex during the time of slavery.
In response to criticisms of the skit that called it both racist and insensitive to rape victims, Jones wrote on her Twitter account, “I said nothing about rape, you f—ing morons.”
She also recently appeared in a skit called “39 Cents” lampooning the oft-run ads requesting minimal amounts of aid for struggling African nations.
In addition to her work on SNL, Jones filmed a one-hour comedy special for Showtime in 2011 and has appeared in the shows The League and Workaholics. She also has a role in the upcoming Chris Rock film Top Five, slated for release on December 12.