It's also a reminder that lesbian and bisexual viewers are continually and callously shortchanged by their televisions. Callica was the only lesbian/bisexual couple on primetime broadcast TV. This means after Thursday there will be no lesbian/bisexual couples on primetime broadcast television. Let's let that sink in for a minute. Television is, of course, notorious for being non-inclusive. But no lesbian couples, not a single one? Zero? That's not just being non-inclusive, that's being delusional.
And almost more infuriating is the supposed reasoning. ABC execs “had issues” with the “explicit direction” of Callica’s relationship, and disliked Erica’s character. So let's break their “reasoning” down. Issues with the explicit direction? Translation: Gay relationships are still icky, especially when love and sex are involved and it's not on “Girls Gone Wild.” Dislike for Erica's character? Translation: She doesn't look like Olivia Wilde. Dammit, why didn't we hire Olivia Wilde?
Couple this shocking news with the news that Melissa George's new intern character Sadie has been de-gayed and you have a show that has gone from one of the best depictions of a gay relationship on TV this year to one of the very worst in the span of just a week. Now Brooke Smith has said show creator Shonda Rhimes' hands were tied with the decision, which is probably true. But she certainly didn't help the situation by issuing a statement that borders on insulting and flirts with idiocy.
“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. 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. The impact of the Callie/Erica relationship will be felt and played out in a story for Callie. I believe it belittles the relationship to simply replace Erica with 'another lesbian.' If you'll remember, Cristina mourned the loss of Burke for a full season.”
God, where to start? A) Calliope is not a lesbian, she is bisexual. That point was made explicitly, twice, last week when she slept with Sloan and realized it was no better/worse than sleeping with Hahn. B) The magic and chemistry could not not be sustained? Have you been watching the show? Did you see Brooke's speech last week? No magic and chemistry my ass.
Queer TV fans are painfully aware of the scarcity of their storylines on TV. But that doesn't mean it still doesn't hurt when a relationship so many can finally relate to is taken away for at best arbitrary and at worst bigoted reasons. We deserve to see our lives reflected back to us when we turn on our televisions. And we're allowed to be really fucking pissed when they aren't. ABC, you need glasses. Because this is just blind stupidity.
p.s. Let ABC know how you feel here. Hey, does anyone else think we should flood them with pairs of glasses, à la "Jericho" and the peanuts? Or maybe that's just my blind rage talking.