Bowen Yang Makes History as Saturday Night Live's First Asian Featured Player

Chloe Fineman Shane Gillis Bowen Yang SNL

CREDIT Chloe Fineman Courtesy of Stephanie Nelson Shane Gillis Courtesy of Phil Provencio Bowen Yang Courtesy of Alex Schaefer

NBC announced on Thursday that Chloe Fineman, Shane Gillis and Bowen Yang will all be featured players throughout the 2019-20 season. The sketch show has also tapped Chloe Fineman and Shane Gillis for coveted positions in its comedic repertory.

"Saturday Night Live", which has always been criticized for its lack of diverse casting choices, just made a major step forward in Asian American representation.

Leslie Jones, who joined the show after it was criticized in 2013 for the absence of an African American woman among its regular or featured players, is focusing on stand-up and movies and won't be back this season. Former players Fred Armisen and Rob Schneider both are one-quarter Asian, but neither has been widely recognized for their Asian ancestry.

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"Ahhhh!. @bowenyang is making history!"

Yang also has a large Twitter presence, and is known for his lip-syncing.

Saturday Night Live is produced in association with Broadway Video.

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Meet Saturday Night Live's new cast additions for its upcoming 45th season.

In addition to hilariously impersonating public figures including Elizabeth Holmes, Timothée Chalamet and Lindsay Lohan for her almost 65,000 Instagram followers, Chloe Fineman is a veteran of The Groundlings, a Los Angeles-based improv and sketch comedy troupe which counts Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig among its alumni, and she was named a New Face at the 2018 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.

The new season will premiere September 28 with Woody Harrelson hosting and chart-topping pop star Billie Eilish set as the musical guest.

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