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Will fall telebision be less gay?


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Will the fall TV season be less gay?
By Lisa Respers France, CNN
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed September 4, 2013
 

 

(CNN) -- "Will & Grace" star Sean Hayes is leading the way again.

 

The openly gay Hayes, who played Jack on the NBC series "Will & Grace," is one of the actors credited with helping change perceptions about gay people via that hit show. This fall he is coming back to his former network as the star of "Sean Saves The World" in which he will play a gay single dad of a teen daughter.

 

But Hayes will not be among as big a crowd of gay leading characters on broadcast television as he would have been had his show premiered last year.

 

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My comment on the article...

 

As a gay person, I am looking for a gay character with some gravity, not comic relief. A smart detective, a skilled athlete, a savvy businessman- one that is defined by something other than their sexuality. Not a clown in a rainbow t-shirt.

 

However- it's way better than it was in the seventies when I grew up. The only gay characters were serial killers and their victims. /sarcasm on What a wonderful message that was. /sarcasm off

 

 

Your thoughts?

 

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It seems that instead of trying to squash stereotypes they are attempting to stretch them out, push the limits to what is deemed funny vs. completely offensive. The shows that 'do' go against stereotypes are so poorly written and are usually geared for younger audiences. I think that's because stereotypes don't hold as much weight. But I think it will be a long time before we see a hit television show with a gay Leeroy Jethro Gibbs. :P

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What is telebision?

 

TV thrives on stereotypes.  Ask any Black, Asian, or Hispanic guy.   I'm not sure if America is ready for a straight-acting gay guy who' successful.   Maybe.

 

TV producers adopt stereotypes for their main characters for fear the stupid audience will not understand.  The producers may never have met a straight acting gay.

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TV producers have to make money, therefore they show what the majority wants to see: stereotypes, characters they can easy identify as the typical gay man, baker, lawyer, nerd, w/e, otherwise the show flops. If you want to see diversity, the genuine thing, you have to get to know real people and not watch TV. I don't know how many people thought I'd be blond, have blue eyes, a cuckoo clock, lederhosen and live in a gingerbread house, among other things.

Edited by aditus
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A smart detective, a skilled athlete, a savvy businessman- one that is defined by something other than their sexuality.

I don't know. They kind of can't win, can they? One of the shows I watch, Teen Wolf, has a Mexican-American actor in the lead role. It's obvious that he's not White, but because no mention of his race is ever made, I've read quite a few comments about how the show-runners are trying to make him pass. Which make me curious how many of these fans actually know anything about people who can and do pass for White, and how it actually makes you more apt to be aware of your own race and how you define it, but I digress, The point is, if a showrunner introduces a character to whom race/orientation/anything else doesn't matter, they run the risk of being accused of just adding the character to drum up diversity without actually letting that diversity mean anything.

 

And, to a certain extent, such accusation are correct. It offends every storytelling sensibility I have to just leave something like that on the floor, as it were. Why include it if it's not going to affect the story? I sit even believable to have a gay character that isn't in some way affected by having that sexuality? Even if they made a conscious choice to not let their sexuality define them, that's still a choice with narrative potential to be exploited.

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I don't know. They kind of can't win, can they? One of the shows I watch, Teen Wolf, has a Mexican-American actor in the lead role. It's obvious that he's not White, but because no mention of his race is ever made, I've read quite a few comments about how the show-runners are trying to make him pass. Which make me curious how many of these fans actually know anything about people who can and do pass for White, and how it actually makes you more apt to be aware of your own race and how you define it, but I digress, The point is, if a showrunner introduces a character to whom race/orientation/anything else doesn't matter, they run the risk of being accused of just adding the character to drum up diversity without actually letting that diversity mean anything.

 

And, to a certain extent, such accusation are correct. It offends every storytelling sensibility I have to just leave something like that on the floor, as it were. Why include it if it's not going to affect the story? I sit even believable to have a gay character that isn't in some way affected by having that sexuality? Even if they made a conscious choice to not let their sexuality define them, that's still a choice with narrative potential to be exploited.

 

It's interesting that you mention Teen Wolf, because I was going to bring up the character of Danny. He's been established as gay from the get-go, and he is very un-stereotypical, in my opinion, and no one seems to much care that he's gay. He's not a major character, but he's not really around for comic relief either and of all the named minor characters on the show, he is by far the most well rounded and interesting among them, and it's clear that he has his own life, backstory and feelings and that he's not defined solely by his sexuality.  

 

Of course, now we're talking a show that's geared towards younger audiences, but I do think it still stands as an important example.

Edited by Thorn Wilde
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You mean this isn't you?  Damn!

 

So sorry to disappoint... Those aren't lederhosen.

 

You don't?  :o

 

What other things?

You tell me.

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It's interesting that you mention Teen Wolf, because I was going to bring up the character of Danny. He's been established as gay from the get-go, and he is very un-stereotypical, in my opinion, and no one seems to much care that he's gay. He's not a major character, but he's not really around for comic relief either and of all the named minor characters on the show, he is by far the most well rounded and interesting among them, and it's clear that he has his own life, backstory and feelings and that he's not defined solely by his sexuality.  

 

Of course, now we're talking a show that's geared towards younger audiences, but I do think it still stands as an important example.

I'm not sure he's actually all that good of an example, which is why I didn't mention him. After three seasons of being a named character (and he was almost one of the first characters to be named), we know very few things about it. Of all of those, his being gay is usually the hook in which he's introduced. It's why he's brought up at first, it's the filter by which he views others and they view him, and it's the handle by which the entire rest of the cast (edit: Jackson excepted) manipulates him as they move plot about.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like Danny, and like that he's a male character fulfilling a role that's usually held by a female, because trope subversion is awesome. I just wish they'd do more with his character besides let his benevolent gayness solve problems for the main cast.

Edited by B1ue
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The producers may never have met a straight acting gay.

 

 or if they did, they might not have known it for the lack of stereotypical mincing!

 

on that note though, having caught up with Teen Wolf (dreadful in many ways, please don't judge), i have to say i love the show's attitude to gay people.

one of the main sub characters on the lacrosse team is gay, and pretty straight-acting, he falls for a hot gay wolf dude and they even have a nearly sex scene with none of the usual fade-to-black rubbish. the camera does not cut away when they kiss. the fact that Danny and whichever twin it is are gay is pretty much a non-issue in the show, and that was refreshing.

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Congratulations, Zombie, you just grossed me out. That's the cruelest hoax ever perpetrated on a dog.

I second that and wolves aren't dogs. :pissed:

I also apologize for :off: .

Edited by aditus
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What is telebision?

 

TV thrives on stereotypes.  Ask any Black, Asian, or Hispanic guy.   I'm not sure if America is ready for a straight-acting gay guy who' successful.   Maybe.

Umm - what is "straight acting"?   Shouldn't people just be people - not straight people or gay people? You are who you are. I act like me - i am a straight middle aged lady - i don't just act like it.

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Umm - what is "straight acting"?   Shouldn't people just be people - not straight people or gay people? You are who you are. I act like me - i am a straight middle aged lady - i don't just act like it.

 

Ma, a straight acting gay guy isn't a gay guy who pretends he's straight. the phrase has come to mean a gay gay who does not conform to the camp or feminine stereotypes that "the media" have told everyone are "normal" behaviours for gay people.

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MTV has always created casts to include as many races and orientations they possibly could - whether or not the story fits. There is no 'real' reason for Danny to be gay, but at least they went there... and then gave him larger parts (but Scott being Gay would never have been made) So Danny's character becomes a cop-out... Then again, like someone else said, the main character and his mother aren't Caucasian/white and there are never any mention of that either.

 

I believe both are on purpose - although I don't want to credit the writers for that show too much - with Danny's sexuality being a non-issue, and race being a non-issue, and whether you are male, female, or what have you - being a non-issue. Because  they wanted to portray the mindset that not a whole lot of people have, but should, about different races, orientations, genders.. etc. And have it just be Humans against Monsters. 

 

But the setting seems to be a smaller town where everyone knows everyone - so all that openness and acceptance probably wouldn't happen in true life. :P 

 

And of course Comedies cling to stereotypes - that's a given. I doubt many would survive without them, there just isn't a lot of people that could aspire to a different level of clever when what's getting paid for and moved forward are the stereotypes.

 

An upstanding police officer that just saved a woman's life.. coming home to kiss his boyfriend/husband would shock the hell out of the viewers in a Pilot/Series Opening show, but I doubt any station could get away with not telling people the main character is gay to allow for the shock value... I believe more people would tune in to watch the second episode, the third, fourth, if they weren't told beforehand that the main character was gay... because they would either be expecting stereotypes or they have already envisioned them and don't think their "crime dramas" should have them. Although, the back of that coin, would the target audience (GLBT adults and Straight women), want it? Or are we clinging to stereotypes as well.  Would many of us find something like that boring too and we're just not saying it? We have shown in the past that we will watch shows that have them... and networks like living in the past more so than the future as long as what they are building is successful. 

 

So it would probably fail before given an honest and true chance to succeed.

 

Bringing something to the table that NO ONE ELSE will only comes along every so often. FOX surprised the hell out of me with Glee, I didn't think they would do it... but that show isn't taken seriously, and it really wasn't put out there without an audience already waiting for it. And a lot of shows only make it when they believe an audience is already out there to carry it. 

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