Saturday, March 15, 2008

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the Current Gay Male Intimacy On TV Poll... Thank you

Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silbermann)

This week's poll was inspired by a controversy surrounding "As the World Turns". For the past few months, fans of the soap have been waging a campaign over the lack of onscreen intimacy between two gay male characters (Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer). Although the pair made history on August 17, 2007 when they were featured in the first-ever gay male kiss in daytime history, their lack of onscreen intimacy in the ensuing months when compared with the heterosexual characters on the show has led fans to accuse the soap of suppressing the portrayal of gay male intimacy. Once, during an episode near Christmas, Luke and Noah moved toward a kiss, and the camera quickly panned to a mistletoe. Then, on a very special Valentine's Day episode, every other couple on the show shared a kiss. Luke and Noah hugged.

According to a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble Productions there's no kissing ban, although she wouldn't say what will happen in future shows. She explained that the mistletoe shot was a "creative decision."

Question: On what network does "As the World Turns" air?
Answer: CBS

Well take off the "C" and that sums up my feeling regarding the spokeswoman's explanation about the mistletoe shot.

With shows like "The L Word" and the groundbreaking storyline involving All My Children's Bianca Montgomery, society's attitudes towards the portrayal of lesbianism on TV is quite different when compared to the way many view gay male characters. Although a character such as Will Truman of "Will & Grace" is accepted to a point, one of the criticisms leveled at the show was the portrayal of his love life (or lack thereof).

With polls that I have conducted in the past, whether or not you participate depends on your familiarity with the choices. However, this one is different because you don't have to be a fan of "As the World Turns" or even own a TV in order to take part. As always, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section of this post.


Pop Art Diva! said...

You know, I'm trying to remember the first gay male kiss in prime time. I think it was Dynasty and the character Steven?

I think the first lesbian kiss was on Ellen in 1997? The first bi-sexual kiss was on LA Law in 1992.

I know the first interracial kiss was on the original Star Trek on the episode "Plato's Stepchildren," which aired on November 22, 1968.

Which leads me to wonder why I am so obsessed with kissing, lol.

PopArtDiva who might now be known as the KissingDiva, teehee.

pjazzypar said...

It is much more excepting for women to be lesbian, than men to be gay. You rarely hear anything about lesbians being attacked because of their sexual preferences, on the other hand gay men have to be very careful with regard to their sexuality. While I do not watch the show, if I did I would not have a problem with displays of intimacy between people who care about one another.

The Rock Chick said...

I agree with pjazzy. I'm not sure how to word what I want to say correctly....

My opinion is that for some reason, lesbianism, to the general public is more about the sexual act and there's no doubt that a lot of people find this erotic. One look at porn geared toward straight men will tell you that.

For males, though, the whole lifestyle/gaybashing thing seems to along with it, AIDS and everything else.

My brother was gay and sadly, contracted the AIDS virus before anyone really even knew what it was. He passed away in the early 90's.

I really don't know why this is, but there definitely is a double standard in my opinion. I agree, though, that CBS comment was definitely BS!

Sarah said...

I of course would not stop watching a show for gay nor lesbian intimacy as many of my current shows have incorporated it into their story lines, however (and I probably will not be liked for this answer) I am getting a little tired of it coming up in almost every single show I watch. I don't want to see the same gender making out. I am not anti- gay/ lesbian I just grew up in a generation where this was not seen and it bothers me.

Candy Minx said...

Fantastic idea for a poll Malcolm!

No way I would stop watching...besides at night time here are a few shows with male lovers like Nip/Tuck which is a super gay friendly tv show...although cable rather than daytime drama.

Xakara said...

The idea that a show may lose viewers if they portray a "minority" group in an intimate situation is one we just keep facing.

It was thought that African American intimacy was too raw and real for daytime at one point. Then inter-ethnic/intercultural relationships. There's still some flack with older women and younger'll always be something and yet it is inevitably shown and life goes on.

The fact that they eventually get over it and get on with it means that they know there is no permanent loss in pushing boundries. Waffling and pulling back is sheer cowardice of not wanting to be first. The moment one show finally breaks out and follows through, every show will fall in line after it, scrambling for their piece of the supportive veiwership.

Gay males are still seen as threatening, but the viewership for most soap operas are women of all orientations, straight males comfortable enough in their sexuality to watch soap operas, and, surprise surprise, gay males. Who exactly are they allegedly afriad of losing? It can't be viewers, it has to be a sponsor issue and if that's true they need to come out and say it and be done with it and let the sponsors defend themselves.

Whew, that was more than I planned on saying. But you asked. *Grin*


Holly Smith said...

ATWT is my show. I've been watching it my entire life. My MawMaw used to live with us and we would watch CBS all day in the summers. I love that so many of the original actors are still on the show....

Anyway, I don't really care either way about what they do or don't show in terms of intimacy with Luke and Noah. I just like that the characters are more than just "the gay couple". They are just normal human beings with lots of things going on in their lives. I liked the whole plotline of Noah's crazy father last year.

Barbara said...

Umm, I noticed you have over 250 votes on your poll, that seems a bit high?

For the most part I agree with all the comments ahead of mine, rock chick said it well.

The double standard has always bothered me and I think it has something to do a lot of straight men thinking that if they approve of gay men that makes them less macho. Unfortunately, with that attitude being "macho" or not is the least of their problems.

To me its about love and respect. I don't want to see any kind of relationship based on lies, cheating, or selfishness. If two people love each other - its a good thing.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I watch Torchwood on BBC America and they are all omnisexuals so I would have to answer yes to that question. Plus I could not give up John Barrowman for the world

Malcolm said...

Pop Art Diva: Very nice osculation breakdown. I remember seeing the one on L.A. Law between Amanda Donohoe and Michelle Greene when it first aired. As for the Star Trek one, they played it safe by having William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols turn their heads away from the camera was to conceal the lip lock.

Pjazzy: Agreed. Just look at the entertainment world. It's much easier for a female entertainer to come out as a lesbian. Their male counterparts can only come out if they aren't looked upon as sex symbols (Elton John, Rupert Everett, JM J. Bullock, etc.). If they are considered sex symbols, they won't come out until long after their careers have peaked (Tab Hunter and Richard Chamberlain for example). It's a sad state of affairs indeed.

The Rock Chick: You made some good points. I also think that behaviors instilled in us at an early age make it so that women for the most part have less insecurities than men regarding sexuality. A group of straight women have no problem going out dancing with each other. On the other hand, there are a lot of straight men who are so insecure that they wouldn't even sit next to a male friend at the movie theater.

By the way, I am very sorry to hear about your brother. I can't begin to imagine the hell that both he and your family went through during his battle with AIDS.

Sarah: Although we have differing views on this topic, I do respect your honesty. As for your feelings being based on the generation you grew up in, I think it goes deeper. I say this because I am older than you and the gay/lesbian lifestyle was even less prevalent when I was a kid as compared to when you were.

To me, one way that attitudes can change is if networks/movie studios continue to do projects that test boundaries of sexuality, race, and gender. The more we see these types of images, the more accepting we can become. Who know, in 10 or 20 years people might be wondering what all the fuss was about over two men kissing onscreen.

Again, thank you for being honest in regards to how you feel about this subject matter.

Candy: Thank you! I thought it was time to shake things up and ask something besides "What's your favorite (fill in the blank)". Your comments about Nip & Tuck are another reason that I am thankful for cable. Because they can be more daring in their programming, they have forced the broadcast networks to loosen up a bit and take chances as well. Although broadcast TV isn't there yet, it's a start.

Xakara: I'm glad you stopped over and chimed in on this topic. Your comments about the views of some regarding other portrayals of intimacy on daytime TV tie-in perfectly with this topic. Although a lot has changed, there are still some who are threatened by it.

You make an interesting point about the demographics of daytime soaps. If I watched ATWT, I wouldn't have a problem with Luke and Noah being intimate. However, there are other straight men (as well as women) who might not feel as I do. Still, I think the network/sponsors have to get off the fence and do the storyline in a realistic way. Will they lose some viewers? Probably. However, they might be surprised to find that plenty of people don't have a problem with it.

Holly: Although I was never a regular ATWT viewer, I have caught it on occasion. I just checked Wikipedia and found that Don Hastings (Dr. Bob Hughes) is still on the show! It's refreshing to hear that Luke and Noah aren't shown as the "gay couple". I think that was one of the problems with "Melrose Place" and the storylines involving Matt Fielding.

Btw, that whole "crazy father" storyline sounds juicy.

Barbara: The reason the poll voting is higher than normal is because a fans of ATWT/Luke and Noah posted my blog link to various message boards. When I checked the number of votes early this morning, I was surprised to see that it had almost surpassed the number of votes previous polls receive in an entire week.

Like you said, many straight men are insecure as hell. I listen to a lot of sports radio and you should hear some of the views and attitudes regarding what's acceptable/not acceptable for straight men. Some of us (men) can't even admit to watching Lifetime so you can imagine how few of us would even consider watching the LOGO channel.

One thing I saw as a kid has stuck with me ever since. Back in 1979, I watched a TV movie called "Birth of the Beatles". There was a scene where their manager Brian Epstein shamefully confessed his homosexuality to John. John replied that it was OK and that he and the other Beatles knew the first time they met Brian. He added that with all the hate in the world, we need more love. I know those aren't the exact words, but you get the idea.

Mistress of the D: I seem to remember hearing the name John Barrowman earlier today... I just can't recall where. I looked him up on Wikipedia and learned that he was turned down for the role of Will on "Will and Grace" because the producers felt he was "too straight". Regarding the behind the scenes people on "Will and Grace", Barrowman said in a later interview, "The sad thing is it's run by gay men and women".

Pop Art Diva! said...

Malcolm, I love your blog so much that I just posted a link to your blog on my PopArtDiva newsletter. It will be sent out to all my subscribers and will be online for a month.

Haven't gotten to zipping those themes for you yet, but I'll get around to it! Oh, and I missed the Hall of Fame! My pda alarm didn't go off because of daylight savings time - I'm so bummed!

Best to you today! PopArtDiva

Open Grove Claudia said...

I don't see same gender intimacy very much so I would probably giggle a little bit. I do that when my gay friends kiss. Not because I think it's wrong, but because I just don't ever see it.

After a while, I'd adjust.

Barbara said...

Malcolm. I feel dumb for commenting about the amount of comments you had. Silly me. I LOVE the Beatles story you shared. John will always be one of my heroes.

Jenny said...

Oh wow they're hot. I thought the first gay male kiss was on Will&Grace though?

Malcolm said...

Pop Art Diva: Thank you very much for plugging my blog in your email newsletter. I missed the RRHOF induction ceremony too. I couldn't get the Windows Media player to work. I'll just catch it when VH-1 reairs it later this month.

Claudia: Your reaction to your gay friends made me laugh. At least it's a positive reaction right? lol

Barbara: No need to feel silly. If you haven't seen "Birth of the Beatles", it's worth checking out if you can catch it.

Jenny: I hope the pic of Luke and Noah won't require a cold shower on your part. :-)

Note that the kiss between Luke and Noah is reported to be the first gay male kiss in daytime history. "Will and Grace" isn't included because it originally aired in primetime.

Di said...

I am somewhat TV challenged unless it's old TV so I can't really play.

Beth said...

Your poll thingie wouldn't take my vote ... so add a YES! for me.

Malcolm said...

Di: I'm sorry to hear you declined to participate. Please know that you don't need any knowledge of current or classic TV to vote.

Beth: Thanks for letting me know via email that my suggestion (clicking refresh) allowed you to vote.

FRIGGA said...

I voted that I would turn the show off. I think its very sad when our society celebrates the side effect of childhood sexual abuse. I'm not saying all cases - but the vast majority of homosexuals I know were molested as children. It's sad that it's celebrated instead of finding these children the help they need. I know many people don't agree with me - but you opened up the topic and I AM FREE to have my opinion and I AM FREE to not have to be witness to such deviance.

Oh, Happy Friday!!! :-)

X. Dell said...

With as much time as I've spent in the village, it doesn't seem very unusual to me. In fact, watching some narratives, what takes me aback now is either the emphasis on the kiss as if that's the story, instead of being a part of the story; or when it's only coyly referred to.

Not that it matters to me. I always fast forward through the sappy parts anyway.

Malcolm said...

Frigga: First, I want to thank you for explaining the reason why you voted the way you did. But you seem somewhat defensive in regards to your freedom to feel the way you do.

Because there has been no concrete proof that childhood sexual abuse can lead to homosexuality, we will have to agree to disagree on that point. I don't think that being a victim of child molestation causes homosexuality any more than it can lead to heterosexuality (because many straight people were victims as well).

Again, thank you for sharing your viewpoint on this topic.

X. Dell: Fast forwarding through the sappy parts. You old softie you.

FRIGGA said...

Malcolm, I am defensive about my opinion because I live in California. Where it's nearly a hate crime to not be open to gays. They also shove the gay agenda down our throats. I really do appreciate you allowing me this forum to be able to express my views without fear of retaliation, it's something I never get in the real world :-(

I also understand that abuse doesn't always = gay and vise versa, I just have personally noticed a trend. I think it would be wise if someone were to do a study on it - however such a study will never happen because it would be called "hate mongering" by the gay activists.

I guess I just have a lot of opinions on this subject.

Malcolm said...

Frigga: I think we all have opinions on the subject of homosexuality. It would be great if a study could be done that would prove once and for all what causes homosexuality.

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