Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bryan Fuller on Gay TV Characters

Pushing Daisies' creator Bryan Fuller did a very interesting, albeit brief, interview in this week's issue of The Advocate. (Sorry I can't link, as the online version appears to be a pay site, but it's on newsstands now.) Not sure how widely known it is that Fuller is gay. He--admirably, IMO--refers to it as "the least interesting part of me."

I'd wondered since his Dead Like Me pilot--with its well-observed closet-case dad (who was heterosexualized after Fuller quit/was fired from the show). Wonderfalls, which I didn't much care for, also included a gay regular (also in the closet--so that's an issue he's interested in exploring).

I don't think he'd ever been identified as gay when he spoke about his disappointment over the lack of gay characters in the Trek franchise, and IIRC, he wasn't widely identified as gay when he spoke out last year over the Heroes/Thomas Dekker situation. (I seem to remember that a couple of gay blogs did, though... On, commenters almost uniformly--and unfairly--blamed him for the decision to censor Dekker's coming out scene, though that was hardly his decision.)

Now that he's running his own big network primetime series, Fuller admits that he's come to a new appreciation for the dilemma faced by Tim Kring and other creators/showrunners who *want* to [i]organically[/i] include gay characters.

Turns out Olive (Kristen Chenoweth) was originally a lesbian -- until ABC (historically, the most gay friendly broadcast network) suggested that making her straight would let him do a Ned/Chuck/Olive love triangle, which would make Olive more relevant to the core action. He thought about it, and came to agree... so Olive became a hetero with a bad case of unrequited love for Ned... but Fuller was then faced with the question of where in this world he'd created to find that voice he finds so valuable, the gay voice.

You get the impression he hasn't found it yet, but at least you can believe he's honestly looking.


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