E R Fightmaster is making history on Grey’s Anatomy as Dr Kai Bartley, the show’s first non-binary recurring character. (ABC)
Grey’s Anatomy has cast E R Fightmaster as its first non-binary character in a recurring role, and fans are here for it.
Fightmaster first appeared in episode three of season 18 as non-binary neuroscientist Dr Kai Bartley, who has now been upgraded to a recurring character.
Kai first appeared as Dr Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) was invited to tour a well-funded Minnesota hospital. The team at the hospital wanted Meredith to be part of their team attempting to cure Parkinson’s Disease, and she requested neurosurgeon Dr Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) join her on the trip to help her decide on the career move.
It turned out that Kai was part of the Minnesota research team, and Amelia was well-versed in their work. Meredith and Amelia end up joining the team and will split their time between Minnesota and Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital – the fictional Seattle hospital where Grey’s Anatomy is based.
Kai is “dedicated to their craft and extremely talented at what they do”, according to the character description from ABC. They are also “confident as hell” and “able to make even the most detailed and mundane science seem excited and cool”.
ABC also hinted that Kai and Amelia will “bond over their shared love of medicine and the brain”.
Grey’s Anatomy fans have already picked up on the characters’ chemistry after the few scenes Kai and Amelia shared on the series – and they’re definitely looking forward to the duo ‘bonding’.
— ana (@amelinkkkk) October 15, 2021
AMELIA AND KAI LETS GOOOOO pic.twitter.com/0Dp69gJM2f
— Lauren✨ (@spampixsharpe) October 25, 2021
— zi (@captshawed) October 8, 2021
Kai: I wish you were gay so we could make out.
Amelia: Who said I wasn’t gay? pic.twitter.com/eZmftGo2uk
— mon ✿ (@bporterarobbins) October 26, 2021
— cassandra🎃 (@addisonsamelia) October 15, 2021
Variety reported this is the first time a non-binary actor has played a doctor on the show. However, Grey’s Anatomy has had LGBT+ representation in the past as trans actor Alex Blue Davis played Casey Parker, a surgical resident, from season 14 to 16.
Non-binary actor Sara Ramirez previously starred in the show.
Grey’s Anatomy also included a trans storyline in season 14 with trans actor Candis Cayne playing a patient who visited Grey Sloan for a vaginoplasty.
Fightmaster got their start as part of Chicago’s famous Second City theatre, which has a notable starting point for many famous comedians and actors like Bill Murray, Steve Carell, Tina Fey and many more.
The non-binary actor is best known for their role as Emily on Hulu’s Shrill and as Alexis on the Showtime series Work in Progress.