Why Kate McKinnon ‘May Retire’ Her Portrayal Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg On ‘SNL’ After Her Death

Following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death at 87, Kate McKinnon is considering retiring her character on 'SNL' for good, we've learned exclusively. Here's why she would be 'more than happy' to do so.

Kate McKinnon has nothing but the utmost respect for the woman she portrayed on Saturday Night Live for five years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The actress’ hilarious impression even delighted the Supreme Court Justice herself. But, following RBG’s death from pancreatic cancer on September 19, Kate is considering hanging up her judge’s robe and crocheted collar for good, a source close to the SNL icon told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. It’s all about honoring her hero.

“She loved playing RBG on SNL, but right now, Kate would be more than happy to retire the character,” the source explained. Kate would rather that Saturday Night Live viewers “remember the powerful woman that RBG is, rather than people remember the women who played her on [television].” Kate mourned Ginsburg with a heartbreaking statement on September 19.

Kate McKinnon
Kate McKinnon plays Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an at-home sketch on Saturday Night Live (NBC)

“For so many of us, Justice Ginsburg was a real-life superhero: a beacon of hope, a warrior for justice, a robed crusader who saved the day time and again,” Kate said in a statement to HollywoodLife via a rep for Saturday Night Live. “Playing her on SNL was a profound joy because I could always feel the overwhelming love and gratitude that the audience had for her. It was one of the great honors of my life to meet Justice Ginsburg, to shake her hand, and to thank her for her lifetime of service to this country.”

Kate was finally able to meet Ginsburg in 2019, when they both attended an all-Yiddish production of Fiddler on the Roof in New York City. Video posted to social media showed the two women greeting each other warmly and shaking hands. They even posed for a few photos together! Ginsburg was asked many times about her SNL portrayal, which painted her as a feisty firebrand who told colleagues and critics that they had been “Gins-burned!” while dancing.

The real-life SCOTUS Justice was all about it. At the world premiere of documentary RBG during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Ginsburg was asked about the impression. “I liked the actress who portrayed me and I would like to say ‘Ginsburned!’ sometimes to my colleagues,” she said. Our source said that moment absolutely elated Kate. “Kate was so proud to make an impact on [Ginsburg],” they said. “Kate holds the moment that they met as one of her favorite moments of her life.”

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