Actress Natalie Morales is opening up about playing TV’s first bisexual woman of color lead in a comedy series, as detailed in a report from The Advocate.
Morales landed the role of Abby, a bisexual Latina ex-Marine sergeant who runs an unlicensed bar in her backyard, on the NBC comedy series Abby’s. The bar operates with its own rules set by its quirky owner, and visitors are required to follow them in order to be served. The series was created by Josh Malmuth and also focuses on the bar’s regular clients, including Beth, a housewife constantly looking to escape her family, played by Jessica Chaffin; James, the bar’s loveable bouncer, played by Leonard Ouzts; Rosie, Abby’s loyal bar-back, played by Kimia Behpoornia; and Fred, an old friend of Abby’s father, played by Neil Flynn. Viewers are also introduced to Abby’s new landlord, Bill, who initially tries to shut down her establishment but eventually joins the gang. Bill is played by New Girl‘s Nelson Franklin.
The show’s creators used the first two episodes of the show to set up the bar scene and introduce each character. However, in the third episode, viewers are given a deeper look into Abby’s past and love life. During the episode, a beverage representative visits the bar to offer up a taste of new alcoholic drinks. The gang notices that Abby’s interaction with the female rep seemed a bit flirty, so they decide to probe for information. Soon, they discover that Abby is bisexual and that she previously dated the rep.
While chatting with The Advocate, Morales discussed the significance of the episode and her role.
“It’s a huge deal, not only personally, but just that the character is the first bisexual lead of a network show and we meet her ex-girlfriend,” she said.
“It’s not necessarily the main thing but you are showing a woman who dates women and is the lead of a show and it’s totally normal. That’s what we wanted to perpetuate and talk about is the normalcy of it,” she added.
Morales went on to reflect on her own childhood and said she wished she saw that kind of LGBTQ+ representation on television while growing up.
“I never saw anything like that and especially not on network television and especially like an LGBTQ+ character that wasn’t in peril and who wasn’t going to be killed or their girlfriend was going to die or whatever,” Morales continued.
Abby’s airs on Thursdays on NBC.