Entertainment

Kenan Thompson May Be Leaving 'SNL'

TMZ reports Kenan Thompson may be leaving SNL to start his own show, but an NBC spokesman denied those claims.

Kenan Thompson May Be Leaving 'SNL'
Getty Images / Joe Scarnici
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Kenan Thompson has seemed to have a love-hate relationship with Saturday Night Live recently, and that relationship could be coming to an end.

TMZ reports Thompson might be leaving SNL and that he is in talks to star in his own show, although there are no details on what that project could be.

Thompson has been a regular cast member on SNL since 2003, making him the most senior member of the show. He is also the longest-running African-American actor in the show's history. 

TMZ's sources say Thompson wanted to leave last year but the show's executive producer Lorne Michaels convinced him to stay. 

However, The Huffington Post quotes an SNL spokesman who called the TMZ story "inaccurate," saying no casting decisions will be made until the end of the next season, which hasn't even started yet. 

Neither Thompson nor anyone from his camp has commented yet — but if the decision to leave is coming from him and not the show's producers, the TMZ report could be accurate.

A year ago, when Entertainment Weekly asked Thompson if he had any plans to leave the show he said "I'm never leaving."

But a few months after that Thompson told TV Guide he would no longer play female characters on the show. 

Thompson at the time was one of only two African-American actors on the show and frequently was asked to do impersonations of prominent black women.

Thompson's comments led to a broader conversation about the show's lack of diversity. SNL eventually hired a black female actress and two black female writers.

The next season of SNL kicks off Sept. 27.

This video includes images from Getty Images.