A new face at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. E.R. Fightmaster has joined the cast of Grey’s Anatomy as the show’s first non-binary doctor, Kai Bartley.
Fans met the character during the second episode of season 18, “Some Kind of Tomorrow,” which aired on October 7. Kai worked on a research team at a Minnesota hospital where Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) considered taking jobs. Amelia recognized Kai and their work, leading viewers to wonder whether a romance is on the horizon for the doctors.
ABC announced on Wednesday, October 27, that Fightmaster will be a recurring cast member during season 18, marking the first time that a non-binary actor has portrayed a doctor on the show.
“They are dedicated to their craft and extremely talented at what they do,” a character description of Kai read. “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.”
Fightmaster shared behind-the-scenes photos from the Grey’s Anatomy set after news broke of their status on the ABC drama. “I am having so much fun,” they captioned the pics, including one of Scorsone, 40, and Peter Gallagher, who plays Dr. Alan Hamilton.
The actor also reposted a tweet from Shondaland TV — the production company behind the series — via their Instagram Story that explained, “Dr. Kai Bartley’s pronouns are they/them!! Please tweet accordingly.”
“She’s the queen of the universe. She’s so passionate about medicine and so passionate about neurosurgery that I would want her to have, like, a huge win in that arena,” the actress said of how she wants Amelia’s arc to conclude. “She’s brilliant and she’s passionate and seeing a woman excel, especially in neurosurgery — which typically has been a male-dominated profession — is something we need to see more of.”
Only time will tell whether Amelia feels sparks with Kai, but as for her character’s love life after turning down Atticus “Link” Lincoln’s (Chris Carmack) proposal, Scorsone revealed that she was “proud that [Amelia] held her boundaries” in the situation. Amid the fallout from the awkward moment, she said that Amelia and Link “are not hearing each other. We’re really like ships in the night. We’re not getting the memo.”
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about Fightmaster.