I’m still processing all the news rolling in about Brooke Smith‘s firing from Grey’s Anatomy, as well as my own emotions about this (which it’s safe to say are not positive, especially in light of all the bad gay rights election news), so I’m going to wait and give you my overall opinion on the firing and de-gaying later in the week.
But here are some of the latest updates from the last two days since the news broke.
Patrick Dempsey reads a scripted answer about the firing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today
“ABC actually sent me over what I should respond,” Dempsey tells Ellen, then proceeds to read about how it was great working with Smith, but her storyline has just come to an end. “She has been great character and I don’t know what happened with that story line," he added. "They decided not to continue it for some reason.” Watch a video clip of it here.
The best part is when Ellen asks "Is that OK?" and he said, "Well, it is for them." Which about sums it up.
Sounds like he’s as in the dark as everyone else about this.
Entertainment Weekly leaks spoilers about how Erica and Callie’s relationship ends this week
EW.com’s Michael Ausiello provides background on the storyline that leads up to Erica going out to her car and driving away from the show for good.
"According to one of my Grey’s moles, Callie and Erica have a relationship-severing blowout in tomorrow’s episode that starts with an argument over whether Izzie paid a big enough price for her role in Denny-gate, and ends with Callie realizing she doesn’t love girls as much as Erica does."
If this happens, I will lose even more respect for Grey‘s. Which I didn’t think was actually possible.
GLAAD responds to the firing
GLAAD issued a statement yesterday re-iterating Shonda’s position that it was bad chemistry and not the lesbian relationship that was to blame for the firing. They focused on Rhimes’ reference to Callie as a lesbian, instead of bisexual:
“While we are disheartened that the burgeoning relationship between Callie and Erica on Grey’s Anatomy has come to an end, the character of Callie, who has now been identified as a lesbian by show creator Shonda Rhimes, remains and her journey continues,” says GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano. “Because there are so few lesbian characters on network television, we hope that ABC and Grey’s Anatomy will commit to further developing Callie’s character and her relationships, and continue providing this important representation on one of TV’s most-watched shows.”
This doesn’t make any sense, since the writers clearly had Callie decide she was bisexual, not gay, in the Grey‘s episode that aired only a few days before. Even if Callie’s actual words in the episode hadn’t made that clear, all the sex with Mark Sloane did.
Given this, and the spoiler about how Erica and Callie’s relationship ends, it seems obvious that Shonda simply substituted the word "lesbian" for "bisexual," either because calling her a lesbian justified her argument better, or she thought it would be more palatable (Americans still aren’t comfortable with the word "bisexual"), or she just couldn’t be bothered to differentiate between the two (straight people often call bisexual women "lesbians").
I suspect GLAAD may know this and just be trying to back Shonda into making Callie a lesbian, but I don’t think it’ll work, and worse, their statement is leading to headlines like this one on IMDB today: "Gay Groups Praise Grey’s Anatomy."
Rumor No. 1: ABC fired Brooke because they were deluged with complaints after last week’s Callica scenes
According to this blog post, after Callie and Erica got together on Grey‘s, "about a million people wrote Disney and told the company that they will never, ever again take their children to Disneyworld EVER."
The blogger doesn’t cite any sources for this, because it isn’t true — Smith was let go before that episode aired.
Rumor No. 2: Sara Ramirez is also leaving, later in the season
This rumor has been incorrectly attributed to AfterEllen.com, based on comments left by readers on our initial Grey’s article. I just want to make it clear that we don’t know whether this rumor is true or not; we’ll let you know if/when we do.
Some sources have told EW that Sara isn’t going anywhere, and that Callie and Melissa George‘s character Sadie will both still be bisexual, but as the Chicago Tribune‘s Maureen Ryan so wisely points out, "it’s one thing to say a character is bisexual, and it’s another to give that character a full and rich romantic life." I would also add "with a woman," since Grey‘s has demonstrated they are quite willing to give bisexual characters a rich and full romantic life with a man.
EW’s PopWatch blog writes an open letter to Brooke Smith
They suggest Smith deserves an Emmy for her glasses-and-leaves scene. I agree.