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No Gays of Our Lives


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I used to read that Donald Bogle book, well, one of them, which was written in the mid-80s, and he used to talk about how in the 70s you would find black-oriented sitcoms, hugely popular miniseries, but even then a lot of the projects that were filmed, like Sister, Sister by Maya Angelou, would be shelved for years. Then by the early 80s things became very much back to token roles. He didn't seem sure why, he just blamed it on political conservatism. That continued until some successes like Eddie Murphy or the Cosby Show. It's a shame that the default seems to be putting minorities in very limited roles, and it takes an exception to the rule to make any change, even change that is short-lived. These days it is mostly "reality" shows that have minorities, and that can come with rigid stereotyping.

I love Bogle's books. And black sitcoms of the '70s like The Jeffersons and Good Times with their incredibly witty, hilarious political bite sadly lost all of their teeth and became silly, hackneyed, typical sitcom fare by their final seasons. Bogle even points out that "Television's first black bitch" ( :rolleyes: ) has a line about feeling like she's finally at home and with family upon being welcomed into the Carrington fold. So much for the black family that raised her tail. <_<

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They don't have to because those shows usually don't stay multi ethnic beyond a season or two if that. They always center around White heterosexual characters with marginal interaction with/from their ethnic/sexual/racial peers.

And then you have a predominantly black critical darling like The Wire that is VERY popular with white people (it's even on a funny online list of "Things White People Like" :lol: ) that gets about zero mainstream media coverage and isn't even propped by its edgy network of origin.

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And then you have a predominantly black critical darling like The Wire that is VERY popular with white people (it's even on a funny online list of "Things White People Like" :lol: ) that gets about zero mainstream media coverage and isn't even propped by its edgy network of origin.

The same happened with Oz. That was like HBO's forgotten child, especially after the Sopranos took off. I think that there was probably some hesitation about praising the show's diversity since it was set in a prison, but I think that show had far riches roles for minorities than anything else on TV in that era, especially Adebisi.

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I guess the world needs more Aunt Idas (The following clip contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.):

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The same happened with Oz. That was like HBO's forgotten child, especially after the Sopranos took off. I think that there was probably some hesitation about praising the show's diversity since it was set in a prison, but I think that show had far riches roles for minorities than anything else on TV in that era, especially Adebisi.

I LOVED Oz and I need to catch up on all that I missed. I want the actors on my soap opera to look and be written like that, not the prison angle, but that kind of grit, that depth.

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Nevermind the fact that ABC = Disney now. Disney's going to avoid anything "controversial" because they're a "family" network now *yawn*. Never underestimate Good Ol' Walt's hand in all this.

Actually, I'm gonna disagree here (though I get your point). If anything ABC has been GAYER since Disney bought them--Disney has also been far better than a lot of companies and not backing down under Religious Right and Family Values boycotts for doing things likeoffereing same sex benefits totheir workers (years before many other companies) or "unoficially" (granted) hosting GayDays at their theme parks. On the soaps alone we had Bianca, Kevin Sheffield, Kish (well and Daniel Coulson and random GH gays, but...). Disney buyin gABC has done a lot of bad, just as Capitol City did before, for soaps, mainly cuz it puts ABC daytime into an even tinier bubble, but...

And don't get me wrong--Disney has certainly done their share of crap, and when it comes to the gay thing their shareof double standards, but in that case I think they're one of the lesser evil companies.

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The same happened with Oz. That was like HBO's forgotten child, especially after the Sopranos took off. I think that there was probably some hesitation about praising the show's diversity since it was set in a prison, but I think that show had far riches roles for minorities than anything else on TV in that era, especially Adebisi.

I agree, but I think it was more complex, as you imply. The show always divided critics (unlike the overpraised Soprano's or my beloved, and amittedly not very diverse, Six Feet Under) and, even though Soprano's is quite rough it's not as rough as Oz--it always was going to get more mainstream success. HBO were just backing the pony they thought would win (Oz though, like The Wire--which of course was endlessly praised by critics--did get long runs...)

Oz also I think sorta was thoughtof as old school HBO even though it was still running when Soprano's started and they really pushed theri new mantra (at least I believe it still was).

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Actually, I'm gonna disagree here (though I get your point). If anything ABC has been GAYER since Disney bought them--Disney has also been far better than a lot of companies and not backing down under Religious Right and Family Values boycotts for doing things likeoffereing same sex benefits totheir workers (years before many other companies) or "unoficially" (granted) hosting GayDays at their theme parks. On the soaps alone we had Bianca, Kevin Sheffield, Kish (well and Daniel Coulson and random GH gays, but...). Disney buyin gABC has done a lot of bad, just as Capitol City did before, for soaps, mainly cuz it puts ABC daytime into an even tinier bubble, but...

And don't get me wrong--Disney has certainly done their share of crap, and when it comes to the gay thing their shareof double standards, but in that case I think they're one of the lesser evil companies.

Disney sure doesnt care how gay ABC Family is.

Greek has done a great job with gay characters and romances. Even the uver religious Secret Life recently brought on a gay guy.

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The main difference with most of the ABC soap stories on gays and the P&G stories is that while the P&G stories were more restrained in their view of gay relationships, the gay couples were treated as more a part of the family, as people viewers would care about. The ABC characters, and over the last 5 years I would include Bianca in this, were treated more as special guests, as social issues, causes to get some press writeup. Never was this more blatant than "Breese" or "Rianca" or whatever they were, where ABC shamelessly sold them to the press as a daring couple with sex scenes and a wedding, while the story being told on the show was of a confused lesbian turning straight because of her hunky brother-in-law.

I thought Kish would be different, but it seems like ABC's virulent reaction towards them suggests they were punished for that difference. Now in the unlikely event we ever see a gay character on an ABC soap again it may be a return to, "Look, there's ___ cousin/old friend/classmate, he/she is getting beaten up/raped for their sexuality. Let's do a PSA!"

Agreed, Nuke on World Turns might be a conservative take on the gay relationship; however, Luke, Noah and now Reid seem to blend into the fabric of Oakdale. The fact that TPTB have been restrained doesn't shock me because, in general, the PGP soaps are conservative even when it comes to str8 people. I actually think the Brian marrying Lucinda story was a little bit risky. ATWT can get away with restraint because the majority of characters are Splenda-sweet.

I remember the homophobic attitudes some characters had on AMc during the Trangender storyline. The guy was called a freak and other neg names. While I think this may have been a realistic take on common attitudes, the entire thing smelled like a PSA or After School Special. All gay characters on the ABC soaps are 'special guests' used for the purpose of shock and buzz. I do think ABC was worried about OLTL becoming the 'gay' show. Why else would they fire Kish right before the Spirit awards? Also, with the end of ATWT, ABC probably sees room for OLTL to grow and did not want the show to be too edgy in a manner that might turn off viewers.

I never expected so much interest when I posted this topic last night.

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Besides Nuke though, what are these other P&G characters who are treated more as a part of a family than, say, Bianca was her first two years, etc? Olivia/etc were always sketchily drawn IMHO and are a very recent thing. But I do see that point and somewhat agree with it.

I also can'thelp wondering if putting the gay wedding/Dorian story on the air in the Fall combined with Kish was a mistake (well, I think ti was cuz I thougth it sucked, but...)

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And then you have a predominantly black critical darling like The Wire that is VERY popular with white people (it's even on a funny online list of "Things White People Like" :lol: ) that gets about zero mainstream media coverage and isn't even propped by its edgy network of origin.

Exactly.

Compare The Wire & Mad Man.

Two great shows yet only one gets the awards.

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I don't think Y&R did any about face. I think the plan all along was:

- create a shock value storyline with Adam to show how low he would go, since in the show's mind, being with another man meant depravity and craziness

- have Phillip return to clear up Cane's backstory, and since Thom Bierdz hoped Phillip could return as gay, that would be a part of the story.

I don't think any serious changes were made. Phillip's story was rushed through in about two weeks. They did all that before they would have had any chance to know audience reaction. I also don't believe that Adam and Rafe were ever meant to be anything. I think that Chris Engen quitting blew that whole story way out of proportion and Nelson Branco, wanting to get attention and also to help Y&R save face for Engen's departure, made the story out to be far more than it was ever going to be.

In the mind of the hacks who run Y&R, they got their story, and they were noble to tell that story. Remember that MAB was patting herself on the back before the stories started about how these were just going to be regular stories, not coming out stories. To her that obviously meant quick, meaningless little pathetic pokes at diversity which treated gays as sad people to pat on the head.

As for whether we will see any other gay characters on soaps -- no. Most of the people who run soaps don't care about gay characters and the past year will just reinforce their decision not to make the effort.

Well, Carl, unless you're a writer of the soaps or work for the network, I don't know if NO is the right word to use. Furthermore, I'll be 100% convinced that Y&R has abandoned the gay thing when or if they get rid of the Rafe character (just like they got rid of Phillip) altogether and convince me that the Chance character really does have a thing for Chloe! So far, Chance's behavior convinces me of no such thing!

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As long as my shows air quality stories with quality writing, I'll be fine without gays being featured. Sure, it'd be nice to see my community represented, but if it's not going to be given the same respect as other plots, I'd rather it not happen.

OLTL did it right, which does perplex me. Why get rid of a good thing and keep the mediocre, especially when the ratings are in the toilet anyway?

Yep, the decision to throw away Kish is perplexing. Just as they were about to embark on the next phase of their lives, becoming same-sex parents, TPTB get rid of them. Seeing Kish being played out as same-sex parents would've been a great and very timely story.

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I love Bogle's books. And black sitcoms of the '70s like The Jeffersons and Good Times with their incredibly witty, hilarious political bite sadly lost all of their teeth and became silly, hackneyed, typical sitcom fare by their final seasons.

See, though, I always considered the fact that these shows could be about things other than political issues to be a good thing. Good Times might have lost a little something because it specifically took place in the projects and dealt not with just racial issues but also socioeconomic issues, too, but The Jeffersons, IMO, was at its best when it wasn't just the reverse of AITF.

That's why I think What's Happening!! is so damn underrated. Here was a sitcom about black teenagers who had adventures that all other TV teens had at the time. All of the characters could have been white, and the stories would have still been the same.

It ticks me off that there have only been two somewhat successful black family dramas in all of US TV, and one of them is cable and the other was premium. Like...god damn, man. What is wrong with these people? I want to see a TV version of Crooklyn.

I guess the world needs more Aunt Idas (The following clip contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeWgYXsYsWo&hl

Aunt Ida! Aunt Ida! Don'chew look hawt, todaiiii, Aunt Ida.

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