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ABC Takes One Step Forward, Two Steps Back by noyoufalled

In one swift move, ABC has extinguished hope of improving equal visibility for same-sex relationships on primetime television. Entertainment Weekly reported earlier this evening that Brooke Smith, who plays Dr. Erica Hahn on Grey’s Anatomy, has been fired from the show. This means the end of the developing relationship between Dr. Hahn and Dr. Callie Torres, who just last week seemed to be moving happily forward. Smith’s last appearance will be in the next episode, airing this Thursday, November 6th.

[via hollywoodinsider.ew.com]

Grey’s creator and head writer Shonda Rhimes reportedly delivered the news to Smith, and released the following statement to Entertainment Weekly in attempt to end suspicion that the move was made because of the sexuality of Smith’s character.

“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.”

However, Rhimes and ABC may have dug themselves in deeper than they suspect. They have also reportedly ‘de-gayed’ a character that was to be introduced as a friend of Meredith’s and possible love-interest for Dr. Torres.

All this from a network who previously fired an actor for uttering a gay slur. How did things turn so quickly? Both mainstream entertainment and LGBT websites are already reporting the news and receiving hundreds of comments from outraged fans. How do you feel about this move, on the eve of the American Presidential election that keeps promising us change?

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