Saturday Night Live has launched some of film and television’s biggest stars. But there are many more who didn’t reach their true potential until they departed from the series. Actress-writer Casey Wilson falls into the latter category. Unlike most SNL departures, Wilson’s departure was surrounded by rampant rumors and hearsay. Now, years after her SNL departure, she spoken on those exit rumors and why her firing being linked to her weight gain bothered her.
The Writer’s Strike of 2008 affected two seasons of television, causing some amazing talent and shows to fall by the wayside. Casey Wilson’s exit from the sketch comedy institution was both surprising and expected. The actress faced some bad press over her weight gain allegedly being a contributing factor for her dismissal. The SNL alum said about the weight gain rumors:
I’ve never been more humiliated or felt more exposed. No one wants to hear that. I was already a bit down about the circumstance and then it just felt a bit like kicking someone when they're down, and I think I was just so surprised by it.
It's sad to see that so many people looked to Casey Wilson’s weight gain as a reason for her exit. That rumor unfortunately shows just how image-obsessed the entertainment is. Instead of letting Wilson leave the show peacefully, many decided to put enhanced focus on her body. Unbeknownst to the public at the time, the Happy Endings star was going through a challenging time, as she began taking antidepressants after her mother’s death. In turn, the medication led to some weight gain.
Of course, Casey Wilson felt embarrassed by the situation. Who would want an already tough situation to be made even worse by superficial rumors? But Wilson ended up having the last laugh.
Looking back on her SNL tenure, Casey Wilson was one of the funniest new additions to the show and had some standout characters under her belt. Sketches such as “The Cougar Den” and Dusty Velvet were some of the show’s best work during that period. Unfortunately, the writer’s strike and her joining during a transition period found the Black Monday alum in an awkward position. Shortly before the 2009-10 season began, it was announced that the SNL star would be leaving. At the time, that announcement likely threw some viewers off, given how popular Wilson’s work was on the series.
In her USA Today interview, Casey Wilson went on to reveal that she was relieved to be let go from SNL. As previously mentioned, the show came at a challenging time in her life, and the actress gave some insight into that period of time, saying:
I think we all have been in jobs that we know aren't the right fit for us, and so as much as you don't want your ego to take a blow of being let go or fired, it just never felt quite right. It felt a bit like I was on a sports team, but I was always on the bench. And it's just not a good feeling
Hearing Casey Wilson’s account of her time on SNL is incredibly sad, and she's unfortunately not the only former cast member to have a rough exit. A number of other SNL alums’ have also given candid accounts of their departures as well. Being such a multifaceted performer, one could argue that Wilson was underused even as one of the more popular cast members. But looking at her career now, Wilson’s SNL dismissal was a blessing, as seen by her current projects. Hopefully, the actress can now feel some relief after finally speaking her truth.