“Saturday Night Live” Adds Its First Nonbinary Cast Member
Molly Kearney joins the long-running sketch show ahead of its 48th season
On Thursday, Saturday Night Live announced a handful of new cast members ahead of its forthcoming 48th season, and one selection stands out as particularly groundbreaking: Molly Kearney will become the long-running sketch comedy show’s first-ever nonbinary cast member.
Kearney, who uses they/them pronouns, is an actor and comedian who recently appeared as Fern Dannely in Amazon’s TV adaptation of A League of Their Own. They will be joined in the cast by fellow newcomers Marcello Hernandez, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.
The addition of a nonbinary cast member feels especially significant for a show like Saturday Night Live, which has historically been overwhelmingly straight, white and male-dominated. In its first 47 seasons, the show has only had seven openly LGBTQ cast members — four of whom were cast on the show in the most recent decade. But nonbinary people have struggled for representation on TV and in film in general. Just last month, the Independent Spirit Awards announced they are moving forward with gender-neutral acting categories — in other words, no more “Best Actress” or “Best Actor” — to accommodate nonbinary performers.
Kearney’s casting comes during a big transitional season for SNL, which saw the departures of longtime cast members Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor at the end of last season. The new season will premiere on NBC on Oct. 1.
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