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11/03/2008

Development at Seattle Grace: Could 'cold feet' be the homo-squeamish diagnosis?

by Jeremy Hooper

In an exclusive interview, Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has revealed a fairly big "Grey's Anatomy" spoiler that might just have some gay panic-laden undertones. Read on if you care to (a) be a little bit soiled about this week's episode, and (b) perhaps a little bit annoyed at the possibility that a same-sex relationship might still tighten the butts of network execs in 2008.

***

Picture 1-210Okay, so the spoiler: Brooke Smith's character, Dr. Erica Hahn, got the boot. The newly-out lesbian character will be abruptly leaving the show after this Thursday's show. But here's the weird thing: The order to break up Erican and Sarah Ramirez's Callie doesn't seem to have come down from show runner Shonda Rhimes, but rather from somewhere on high. Here is some of what Ausiello learned from Smith:

AUSIELLO: What the hell happened?!
BROOKE SMITH: I was very excited when they told me that Erica and Callie were going to have this relationship. And I really hoped we were going to show what happens when two women fall in love and that they were going to treat it like any heterosexual couple on TV. And so I was surprised and disappointed when they just suddenly told me that they couldn't write for my character anymore.

That's all they said?
Yes. Frankly, it was you that warned me this might happen on the red carpet back in July. You said [sometimes networks get cold feet] with gay relationships. And I was so naive. I'm like, "It's 2008." But I'm starting to realize that not everyone feels the way I do.
...
Who broke the news to you?
Shonda.

I'm hearing that this wasn't her decision, but rather ABC's.
You know, I have to tell you, I got that feeling. I don't know for sure, but it definitely seemed like [Shonda's] hands were tied. That was just my gut.

Also, Ausiello says in his column that in addition to other factors, a source tells him execs "had issues" with the Erica-Callie relationship. Read the full thin at link:

Exclusive: 'Grey's Anatomy' Discharges Dr. Hahn [EW]

What say you, gays? Come on -- it's not like there's anything more important to talk about on this election eve!

**More:

In an official statement, Grey's Anatomy executive producer Shonda Rhimes asserted that the reasons behind Smith's firing had nothing to do with her character's sexual orientation.

"Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian. Clearly it's not an issue as we have a lesbian character on the show - Calliope Torres," said Rhimes. "Sara Ramirez is an incredible comedic and dramatic actress and we wanted to be able to play up her magic. Unfortunately, we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke's character would sustain in the long run."

However, Rhimes' insistence that the network has no issues with gay characters comes on the heels of a new report from E! News that claims a new Grey's Anatomy character played by Melissa George has been rewritten to exclude any homosexual behaviour.

"Melissa came on as a lesbian character," a source tells E!'s Dos Santos. "But they changed the script and now she isn't. She starts off flirting with Callie but it never goes anywhere."

Grey's Anatomy Ditches Gay Storylines [Dose.ca]

**UPDATE, 11/5: This is interesting/ bizarre /awkward/ eyebrow-raising:

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper


Your thoughts

Like she said, it's 2008.

Posted by: Corvidae | Nov 4, 2008 7:08:16 AM

This is kind of a letdown. "Grey's Anatomy" is one of the most popular shows on Primetime, and this is an intriguing storyline. To abruptly drop it just seems bizarre-won't fans be annoyed with this?

Posted by: Bill S | Nov 4, 2008 8:07:58 AM

I know I am. While I don't think they handled the story line that great (especially from Callie's end), I love Brooke and her character and will be sad to see her go.

Posted by: Ron | Nov 4, 2008 8:55:30 AM

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