It is a show that is far more than the drama that it portrays. Grey’s Anatomy has repeatedly shown it’s commitment to representation and made way for several groups in society to get the recognition they deserve. For example, Callie Torres and Arizona Robbin’s relationship has been highlighted as instrumental to the LGBTQ+ community with their portrayal of a strong, lesbian couple on mainstream television. Whilst, characters such as Christina Yang and Miranda Bailey have given minorities empowering and successful female leads.
15 years on and the series is showing no signs of slowing down.
Ahead of the new season’s premiere, showrunners have provided rather monumental news for fans of the show. It has been announced that the show has cast a newcomer- Alex Landi as a new addition to the medical drama. Landi has also made appearances in shows such as Bull and Childlike, although this is his first major role.
Landi will play a recurring character, Dr Nico Kim who is the first ever gay, male surgeon to walk through the doors of the hospital. For fans of the show, this is incredible news, and honestly, it’s about time!
Previously, the show has featured gay or bisexual characters, but none of them has been male surgeons.
Gay males from minority backgrounds rarely ever get represented in mainstream TV shows and films, and when they do the portrayal of their character is usually shrouded in stereotypes. But, most importantly, as an audience we hardly see them occupying high-ranking positions in their career, not only is Grey’s Anatomy confronting this but they are also challenging the toxic stereotypes which are often so prevalent in the entertainment industry.
Grey’s has historically explored the dynamics of in-house romantic relationships and it is likely that with Landi’s character, we might get a chance to see another in-house Grey Sloan gay relationship blossom.
It is also extremely important that Shondaland decided to cast the Korean-Italian actor to take on the role, especially as Asians are often so under-represented in Hollywood and have to fight for their visibility. 2018 has seen a step in the right direction with the release of To All The Boys I Loved Before and Crazy Rich Asians, however, there is still a long way to go before they see substantial visibility.
According to USC, Asian characters made up only 4.8% of speaking characters in Hollywood films last year, despite being 5.7% of the US population. On the other hand, there were only four Asian leads in the top grossing films of 2017.
Furthermore, the show has not had an Asian surgeon since the departure of Sandra Oh’s Cristina Yang, so this news is particularly exciting.
Landi confirmed the news on Instagram where he shared his excitement with fans, who were quick to congratulate the actor. One fan wrote: ‘yasssss an Asian actor and playing an LGBT character… so here for this!’ The rising star also posted a video further expressing his gratitude for all the support he has received since revealing the news.
Details about the character are being kept as a secret for the time being, but in true Shonda Rhimes fashion- The new surgeon will undoubtedly find himself wrapped up in a whirlwind of drama.
Season 15 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres Sept. 27th on ABC.
Featured Image via IMDB