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'Grey's Anatomy' casts 1st nonbinary doctor in show's history

ABC has announced that actor E.R. Fightmaster — who is nonbinary, as is their character Dr. Kai Bartley— has become a recurring member of the cast.
/ Source: Reuters

"Grey's Anatomy" viewers first saw E.R. Fightmaster in the role of Dr. Kai Bartley in the third episode of Season 18, as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was being wooed by a well-funded Minnesota hospital who wanted her to join their quest to cure Parkinson's Disease.

Meredith asked neurosurgeon Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) to join her there in order to help with the decision — which was when they both met Kai, who is part of the research team in Minnesota, and whose work Amelia clearly knew well.

E.R. Fightmaster.Bonnie Osborne / ABC

Now, ABC has announced that Fightmaster — who is nonbinary, as is Kai — has become a recurring member of the "Grey's Anatomy" cast, the first time a nonbinary actor has played a doctor on the show. (Trans actor Alex Blue Davis played surgical resident Casey Parker in Seasons 14 to 16.)

"Grey's" isn't on for the next two Thursdays, but Fightmaster's Kai will be in the Nov. 11 episode when the show returns, as well as a few more episodes before the midseason finale in December.

"They are dedicated to their craft and extremely talented at what they do," reads the character description from ABC about Kai. "Confident as hell and able to make even the most detailed and mundane science seem exciting and cool, Kai and Amelia bond over their shared love of medicine and the brain."

"Bond" is one word for it — the chemistry between the two characters was immediate, and Amelia may be interested in a fun distraction now, after she rejected Link's (Chris Carmack) proposal. So Twitter did its thing, and decided to ship Kai and Amelia right away.

Fightmaster is an actor, writer and musician, and they recently appeared on Seasons two and three of Hulu's "Shrill" as a love interest for Fran (Lolly Adefope). They've also appeared on Showtime's "Work in Progress," and are in the band Twin.