Karine Jean-Pierre
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Molly Kearney Makes History as First Out Nonbinary Actor to Join SNL

Molly Kearney joins SNL

Saturday Night Live announced Thursday that four new featured players will join the ensemble cast of the long-running NBC sketch comedy show. This year, Molly Kearney joins as the show's first out nonbinary featured player alongside three other fresh new faces.

Kearney, who is from Cleveland and uses they/them pronouns, is no newcomer to entertainment. They were selected for Comedy Central’s Up Next showcase in 2019 and can be seen right now in Prime Video’s A League of Their Own and Disney+’s The Mighty Ducks.

Marcello Hernandez, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker also joined the cast ahead of the season premiere.

In 1985, SNL pushed the envelope when Terry Sweeney became the first out gay person on network TV. Now SNL audiences will have the opportunity to get to know a nonbinary person, while other nonbinary people will see themselves represented on television.

The series lost some key players this summer, including Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Aidy Bryant, and Pete Davidson, and featured players Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, and Aristotle Athari.

In 2019, Bowen Yang became the first out gay Asian-American cast member on the program. A year later, Punkie Johnson became the first out Black lesbian to join the show. 

As of October 1, Saturday Night Live season 48 will premiere on NBC and will air original episodes for the following two weeks. In addition to airing on NBC, the premiere episode will stream live on Peacock as well. 

“This will be a transition year, and the change years are always difficult but also really exciting because there’s new people and things are changing, and a different generation comes into the show,” creator and showrunner Lorne Michaels said in the Emmys press room Monday after SNL won for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.

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