ABC just fired brooke smith, the actress whose character just began a relationship with Sara Ramirez’s Callie Torres. Apparently, the network “had issues with both the explicit direction Callica was taking (think: undiscovered country, south of the border, etc.) and, more importantly, with the Hahn character in general. Basically, they didn’t like her and wanted her gone ASAP.”
The LA Times had some interesting comments on the situation:
I suspect what irked whoever made the call (and Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello said that it was the network’s decision, not the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes) is precisely what made the Erica/Callie relationship worth talking about. Not that they were both women — good heavens, how dull — but that they were, how shall we say, average size. With hips, you know, and actual breasts. Not two girly waifs exchanging a stolen kiss or a grope in the women’s room stall over a line of coke, not an androgynous club kid putting her best moves on some sitcom heroine. But two women of substance, physically and psychologically, falling in love and talking about it way too much, the way women tend to do.
As Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) might say: “Girl on girl is hot. Woman on woman? Just a downer.”
Grey‘s has been on the decline for a while, and im not going to pretend that i liked the character of Dr. Hahn (cause i didnt, and didnt really like her with Callie), but this is just depressing. Recently, ABC also de-gayed Melissa George’s new character on the show, and fired Rebecca Romijn’s trans character on Ugly Betty. South of Nowhere was cancelled on the-N (though in the Nogg’s defense, theyve been great. there was a les arc on Degrassi (Erin, i KNOW you saw that one – Paige and Alex!! [oh the irony]). The only lesbians on prime time these days seem to be jealous, homicidal women in serial dramas (see: every episode of CSI, Cold Case, Law and Order that has ever involved a sapphic angle). Heck, even elisabeth rohm’s character got written off SVU. And dont even get me started on Marissa and Alex on the OC. that went from an amazingly realistic, sweet, and sexy depiction of a relationship’s beginning to a completely ridiculous, completely out-of-character disaster.
where is this going?? im not sure, honestly. it’s all just sad, though. i have no problem with heterosexual romance on tv (i even root for it most of the time – hello BLAIR and CHUCK??!?), why cant it work both ways?? it’s so frustrating that even in 2008, on the cusp of the country electing its first black president (about freaking time! go vote.), we preach tolerance and yet our actions defy our words.
when it comes to minorities, to ideas that are deemed different or other – whatever that may be: sexuality, race, religion – visibility is crucial. people need to know that they arent alone; that there’s nothing wrong with them; that they are whole and just as deserving of their rights as anyone else. conversely, people need to see that the world isnt just composed of two binaries: the familiar and the un-. they need to understand that just because someone is a little different, it doesnt mean we all arent the same (i feel this strong need to go into a discussion of colonialism / imperialism, but ill resist and save that for another day). exposure is the only way to teach this; to demonstrate that at the end of the day, we have a heck of a lot more in common than not. this means we need shows with gay characters, books where black, blue, white, green kids play tag together, music where ppl sing about loving each other regardless of their gender. we need shows and plays and movies where being gay doesnt define the character, but is simply just another part of who they are. we need visibility. and THAT’s why this is so upsetting.