Melissa Villaseñor left ‘SNL’ for mental health reasons after having panic attacks, depression, suicidal ideation and PTSD. She didn’t return as the show’s leading musical guest, but did appear on an episode.
On the November 28 episode, “The One Where the Guy Leaves a Star Treatment,” Melissa Villaseñor’s character was given mental health treatment after making inappropriate jokes about President Donald Trump. After she left, “Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost said to host Seth Meyers: “I thought your jokes were really funny.” Villaseñor’s exit was met with surprise and anger on social media.
“SNL” co-creator Lorne Michaels praised Villaseñor as “one of my favorite cast members” and said her “brave honesty and realness” helped “open up a whole new realm of possibilities” for the show.
Villaseñor told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday, November 27, that she would not be returning for the show’s upcoming season. “I didn’t have to do this,” she said. “I had a choice, and I made it.”
Villaseñor said she left “SNL” because she felt she wasn’t a good match with her co-stars. “I was exhausted of it,” she said. “I was exhausted of not being able to say anything.”
Co-stars on “SNL” said their feelings were mutual.
“I think she’d have been a very strong player on the show,” Tom Hanks said to the Los Angeles Times. “She would have been fantastic on that show. And I’m sorry she’s not here, and I wish that she were here.”
In a statement to People, Melissa Villaseñor said:
As someone who has dealt with trauma, I understand the need for a safe space to talk about it. I’m deeply disappointed that I will not be working on this particular sketch for the upcoming season. I loved the show and I’m grateful for all its important moments and memories I