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Natalie Morales talks playing the first bisexual lead on a network sitcom

Natalie Morales talks playing the first bisexual lead on a network sitcom

Natalie Morales as Abby

Parks and Rec actress Natalie Morales opened up on playing the lead on new NBC sitcom Abby’s.

Morales, who came out as queer on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls blog in 2017, portrays the titular role.

Abby is a bisexual veteran of Cuban descent who sets up an unauthorized, uninsured bar in the backyard of her rented house in San Diego.

‘We’ll obviously take any comparisons to Cheers, of course,’ she says in an interview with Autostraddle.

Morales obviously refers to the iconic NBC sitcom aired from 1982 to 1993 and set in a bar.

‘It’s one of the greatest comedies of all time. And yes, Abby’s it is set in a bar — but it’s a bar outdoors in San Diego, not underground Boston. And it’s 35 years later. Also, is a confident, secure bisexual woman of color the modern day Sam Malone?’

Abby’s bisexuality is just an aspect of her personality

The show addresses Abby’s bisexuality in an extremely natural way.

‘It’s so important to tell stories about marginalized people, but if we tell stories that reduce them always and only to the ways they’re marginalized, it just perpetuates the problem,’ Morales said.

‘Abby is a bisexual woman whose friends love her, whose life is pretty normal. She dates women and men because that’s who she is, and doing so doesn’t cause her any shame or put her in any peril. She’s not going to, you know, get killed off her own show any time soon.’

Morales also highlighted how Abby is a fleshed out character, whose bisexuality is just an aspect.

‘Sometimes a person’s sexuality is at the forefront of their life. Sometimes it’s just one of the many, many things about them — and those can be different things at different times,’ she said.

‘Abby is Cuban; she’s a veteran; she’s a good friend. I’m glad she’s bisexual and I’m glad she’s also well-rounded.’

The show also stars Scrubs’ Neil Flynn, alongside Nelson Franklin, Jessica Chaffin, Leonard Ouzts, and Kimia Behpoornia.

Morales is the first Cuban woman to play the lead in a sitcom

Abby is reportedly the first bisexual protagonist on an American network sitcom. And Morales is the first Cuban woman to headline a show.

The last Cuban actor playing the lead in a sitcom was Desi Arnaz, starring alongside Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy in the 1950s.

Watch the trailer for Abby’s below:

Abby’s airs on NBC every Thursday night at 9:30pm.

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