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Passions Criticized for DOWN-LOW Storyline


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ACTION! ALERT | washingtonblade.com

Reckless ‘Passions’

Daytime drama criticized for down-low storyline

By ZACK HUDSON

Feb. 23, 2007

In the face of 300-year-old witches and the once present threat of falling in love with and marrying his half-sister, Chad Harris Crane, a longtime hero on the NBC Daytime drama “Passions,” might just find his latest entanglement with a mysterious male lover to be a welcome respite.

Some gay and black soap fans, however, are steamed over what some say is a reckless and negligent portrayal of down-low relationships, when seemingly straight men have affairs with other men.

“This revelation that Chad is cheating on his wife and true love, Whitney, with an unidentified male lover certainly has come out of left field,” said TVGuide.com soap columnist Daniel Coleridge, author of “The Q Guide to Soap Operas.”

“The Chad character has been a heroic leading man on ‘Passions’ since 1999, and viewers have never been given the impression that he felt any sexual attraction toward men.”

The show, on the air since September 1999, has been canceled and its last episode will air Sept. 7.

VIEWERS HAVE BEEN aware of Chad’s affair since late 2006, but only learned that his lover is another man on Feb. 2. The show plans to reveal the lover’s identity — he has previously only been photographed from the neck down — during the Feb. 27 episode.

Repeated attempts to reach “Passions” producers through the show’s publicity manager went unanswered by press time.

Actor Charles Divins, who portrays Chad, shared with TV Guide that his character’s actions are motivated strictly by lust.

“Chad loves his wife, so in his heart this isn’t a deception. He is not in love with this other guy. He’s addicted to sex,” Divins said.

Despite Divins’ uncomplicated view of Chad’s promiscuousness, black gay journalist and blogger Rod McCullom, a “Passions” fan, laments the current twist in Chad’s story. The plot tarnishes the soap’s sterling reputation for diversity, he said.

“I think it’s a ridiculous turn of events. What I liked about ‘Passions’ when it debuted was that it had such a strong diversity of characters. Half the cast was African American or Latin,” he said.

In 2005, “Passions” producers added to the diverse cast by having the character Simone return to Harmony, the fictional setting of the show, after exiting the closet as a lesbian and taking a lover.

On the basis of Simone’s story, which featured several scenes of the character kissing Rae, her older girlfriend, “Passions” picked up the 2006 GLAAD award for Outstanding Daytime Drama. The show is nominated in the same category again this year, though its treatment of gay characters is in question. A week after Chad’s affair was revealed, the Rae character was murdered during a bloody and violent attack by a would-be rapist.

MCCULLOM FIGURES THAT “Passions,” which has long been known for its sensational stories, is continuing its tradition on the backs of gay characters.

“Chad’s sexual orientation is becoming stereotypical, and he’s becoming something of a predator. I’ve seen him in hotel bedroom scenes with this character twice now, and both times he was drinking. Not champagne or something romantic, but out of a flask,” McCullom complained.

The idea the show could be tackling a social issue story by writing Chad on the down-low, is, at best, a dubious one to McCullom.

“I would think if they were trying to be timely, they could have offered that storyline a few years ago when Oprah was talking about it,” he said.

http://www.washblade.com/2007/2-23/view/ac...alert/10076.cfm

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I am absolutely shocked that Passions is being critisized for this. They are usually so good a building and creating socially conscious storylines. So this... this is really come out of left field for me.

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

I love sarcasm. There isn't one socially relevant storyline that PSSNS' hasn't made a mockery of.

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I gave up that garbage show in October and will never watch it again under any cricumstance. But I could, however, be swayed if the last eppy featured Reilly being strung from a balcony by his very small penis. That would be must see and very fitting with the show that went downhill very fast...

But I think many are missing why this story reeks of ridiculousness. Of course the DL is out of nowhere, but I believe the real question is:

How did this man go from a sexual obsession with his sister to wanting someone else, especially another man? How is Reilly tackling a social issue here? There is no story. Reilly just made Chad gay just like he did Simone.

And add to this that only the black characters on this horrid show are gay?

Seems to me that people are angry for the wrong reasons...

Why not have Epig on the DL (white men are just as guilty of this) or Luis, which would have been an even bigger shocker.

Chad and his perverted need to be with the woman he thought to be his sister should have been address, but noooooooo, Reilly just moves onto the next stunt.

News flash Reilly, I think gay people like quality television too... IDIOT!

ANDREA

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I knew they would get backlash for this and I had a feeling they would bring up Rae's murder.

It's sad because Passions portrayed Simone's coming out in a pretty good way. Her relationship with Rae was well done with the exception of when they implied that Alistair paid Rae to make Simone gay. Other then that, I liked Simone's story . My only complaint wwas they never showed us enough scenes with her and Rae to see their relationship progressing.

This Chad thing has been rumored for months so why soaps writers act surprised about it is beyond me. Nevertheless, the character of Chad has been destroyed with this. I don't mind the idea of the story but Chad would never do this to Whitney. Not after wanting her even when they beleived she was his sister. He never gave up on her and now the minute the reunite it we learn he has been having an affair with a man. Major character destruction but that is all this show has done in the past 2 years so no surprise. The only think I look forward to is Whitney finding out because I love Brook Kerr and I know she will give a solid performance.

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Its horrible. It makes NO sense that Chad is now gay. He was obsessed with being with Whitney to the point where he was seducing her when she was his sister. I dont see him doing that if he were go bc being siblings would have given him the perfect out to not be with her. He's always been about her and the minute he has her back, he goes and starts sleeping with a man? Um whatever

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“Chad’s sexual orientation is becoming stereotypical, and he’s becoming something of a predator. I’ve seen him in hotel bedroom scenes with this character twice now, and both times he was drinking. Not champagne or something romantic, but out of a flask,” McCullom complained.
A predator? And oh no, Chad drank out of a FLASK instead of champagne! WTF is this guy talking about. :lol:

The show is nominated in the same category again this year, though its treatment of gay characters is in question. A week after Chad’s affair was revealed, the Rae character was murdered during a bloody and violent attack by a would-be rapist.

So they killed of a gay character, big deal. Are they suppose to not kill her because she's gay? It's not like she was killed BECAUSE she was gay. She was killed because she was a threat to the Night Stalker. If Precious knew the identity of the NS, she would've been killed off too!

The idea the show could be tackling a social issue story by writing Chad on the down-low, is, at best, a dubious one to McCullom.

Social issue my ass. Passions has and always will be a plot written show. We all know that. We're not trying to be something we're not. (Yeah yeah, I know I'm saying "we're" like I'm part the show. LOL :lol:) Did you expect a Claire Labine type social storyline? I think not.

Eh, more press. Bring it on. :)

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I think where a lot of people are seeing this they are forgetting that Chad does not see himself as gay. This is just sex for him.

I have seen two shows do the down low story and some way why not make a down low story about a white guy - because if you did it wouldn't necessarily be a down low story. Down Low from the way it was explained in both shows I saw it on and from reading is exclusively a term used to describe Black Men who sleep with men. The men they sleep with might be white but the actual term refers to the black guy who goes out looking for this.

The only thing from my understanding - well maybe the biggest thing that I see JER has gotten wrong is that it appears Chad is using condoms. That is the only thing that throws the Down Low thing. From everything I have read a Down Low guy usually does not use condoms. For them to plan ahead to get the condoms is to admit what they are doing, and they can't do that. For them it is just sex with a guy just like it would be if they had an affair with a woman. With the guy though it has to happen - and not be planned.

Chad just sees this as sex and does not see himself as gay. So the issue of why all of a sudden Chad is gay has not come up in his mind. He is just fulfilling a natural urge to have sex.

I know that seems weird but that is the way I understand the Down Low thing.

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A predator? And oh no, Chad drank out of a FLASK instead of champagne! WTF is this guy talking about. :lol:

So they killed of a gay character, big deal. Are they suppose to not kill her because she's gay? It's not like she was killed BECAUSE she was gay. She was killed because she was a threat to the Night Stalker. If Precious knew the identity of the NS, she would've been killed off too!

Social issue my ass. Passions has and always will be a plot written show. We all know that. We're not trying to be something we're not. (Yeah yeah, I know I'm saying "we're" like I'm part the show. LOL :lol:) Did you expect a Claire Labine type social storyline? I think not.

Eh, more press. Bring it on. :)

...Drinking from a flask is, IMO, a little sleazier than champagne or nothing at all. It is one of those things that just adds an extra element of skeev.

...OK, they didn't kill her BECAUSE she was gay – but when numbers of gay characters are so low, when you kill one it makes a difference. It makes people go, "Hmm, interesting. I wonder why they chose that route." The write chose to put on of the few gay characters on the show in a situation where she is killed.

...It doesn't matter that massacring social stories is what Passions is about. If it is what they are about and they do a [[email protected]#$%^&*]-poor job of it, people have the right to complain.

And I know you want to bring the press on, but it hasn't helped the show yet. It never has. It has just made what is simply an embarrassment a publicized embarrassment.

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Steven,

You make some very valid points, but as far Chad not seeing himself as gay is not even the point for me. At least I don't think it is. When did he have time to sleep around with men while he was obsessing over getting his sister back? My problem is not that this "story" is being told but that Reilly is the person telling it.

It's all of a sudden and it makes no sense due to the events transpiring before it. Nothing adds up here.

Also, I was watching a program, and you are dead on as to the condom issue. Black men will infect their female partners before they admit to being gay.

But I have to maintain my stance on the blacks/gays/Trassions issue. So far, the two characters to have homosexual relationships are black.

So this story, of course under someone other that that moron Reilly, could have easily been told and just as shocking with a white character. and it would have been a real story and not just a stunt.

Andrea

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And I know you want to bring the press on, but it hasn't helped the show yet. It never has. It has just made what is simply an embarrassment a publicized embarrassment.

I wish it was the Washington Post that had this article so it would've been publicized even more. Never heard of the Washington Blade.

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I think where a lot of people are seeing this they are forgetting that Chad does not see himself as gay. This is just sex for him.

I have seen two shows do the down low story and some way why not make a down low story about a white guy - because if you did it wouldn't necessarily be a down low story. Down Low from the way it was explained in both shows I saw it on and from reading is exclusively a term used to describe Black Men who sleep with men. The men they sleep with might be white but the actual term refers to the black guy who goes out looking for this.

The only thing from my understanding - well maybe the biggest thing that I see JER has gotten wrong is that it appears Chad is using condoms. That is the only thing that throws the Down Low thing. From everything I have read a Down Low guy usually does not use condoms. For them to plan ahead to get the condoms is to admit what they are doing, and they can't do that. For them it is just sex with a guy just like it would be if they had an affair with a woman. With the guy though it has to happen - and not be planned.

Chad just sees this as sex and does not see himself as gay. So the issue of why all of a sudden Chad is gay has not come up in his mind. He is just fulfilling a natural urge to have sex.

I know that seems weird but that is the way I understand the Down Low thing.

You hit the nail on the head with the down low issue.

I'm gay, and I am not offended by this storyline. It makes sense that Chad just sees this as sex and does not admit to seeing himself as gay.

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The thing the PASSIONS people aren't understanding is that, although condoms do help prevent the spread of STDs, they are not 100%. I think to use that as an excuse to justify Chad screwing around on Whitney is just wrong on every level.

And this is nothing new. If GLAAD or any gay outlet wanted to be upset about the way gay were portrayed, they should have aggressively went after PASSIONS during the Charlie storyline. That was offensive enough.

I say let PASSIONS go for broke(back). They have nothing to lose anyway!

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The thing the PASSIONS people aren't understanding is that, although condoms do help prevent the spread of STDs, they are not 100%. I think to use that as an excuse to justify Chad screwing around on Whitney is just wrong on every level.

And this is nothing new. If GLAAD or any gay outlet wanted to be upset about the way gay were portrayed, they should have aggressively went after PASSIONS during the Charlie storyline. That was offensive enough.

I say let PASSIONS go for broke(back). They have nothing to lose anyway!

Yep! Passions can do what the hell it wants in its final months, to hell with critics! The show's cancelled, so let it go out with a bang, offending as many people as possible! :D

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