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Wednesday November 5, 2008 3:27 pm

Is Grey’s Anatomy Abandoning Its Gay Storylines?

Grey's Anatomy's Callie and Erica

It looks like Dr. Hahn won’t be seeing much more than leaves on after this week. Despite the buildup to Erica’s moment of clarity with Callie last Thursday, actress Brooke Smith has been let go from the show. This shocking news comes just as Hahn’s relationship with Dr. Torres was reaching a new level.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Smith revealed that the announcement - delivered by Shonda Rhimes herself - was made last month. Ironically, Brooke was informed of her departure right after the “leaves” episode was filmed. Unfortunately, the reasoning being the casting decision has been raising a lot of speculation. (Even Patrick Dempsey seemed clueless on today’s episode of Ellen.)

Read More | Entertainment Weekly

While some believe the network was simply uncomfortable with the lesbian storyline, the show’s creator denies this accusation:

“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.”

So what does this all mean for actress Melissa George? A few weeks ago it was announced that the Alias star would be entering Seattle Grace as a bisexual intern. But now there are conflicting reports about the direction of George’s storyline. According to E!, the producers have now backed off plans to have Melissa and Sara Ramirez (Callie) hook up. Meanwhile, TV Guide insists there are no plans to alter anything about the character’s sexual preferences.

So what does GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) have to say about all of this? Although the organization is, not surprisingly, a bit saddened by Smith’s exit, they still hold out hope for the other half of that doomed couple. “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,” GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano said in a statement.

For a quick preview of Brooke’s final performance on Grey‘s (her last show airs tomorrow), click on the video below:




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