Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Was Zach From Heroes Gay Or Not?

Bryan Fuller, on of the Heroes writers, has given an interview to PopGurls in which they discuss the single most interesting, and controversial, element of the show: was the Cheerleader's friend Zach gay - or not?

Here's an excerpt:

It absolutely was a path that we were going to take. In the first meetings when we were sitting down and talking about the show, one of the things about the show that Tim said that he wanted all these characters to represent different people in the world... I said that's fantastic, but if we have this many people, then we need to have a gay character. If you want to represent the world, that's certainly a demographic that we need to hit.... So we were definitely going down a route of making [Zach] the gay character and having him have a big role in her life and sort of teaching her to come out about her ability and embrace herself and actually using the coming out metaphor and the gay metaphor in that instance as a fun piece of storytelling.

There was an unfortunate miscommunication and when the script arrived that had the line in it, 'I would take you to homecoming but you have to know that I don't like girls that way.' The actor [Thomas Dekker]'s, manager threatened to pull him from the show because he was up for the John Carter [EDIT: They mean Connor] role in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and she didn't want him playing a gay character because it might affect FOX's interest in hiring him. It got really ugly.

It's unfortunate and really – we only took one line out of the script. In really, in all of our minds, the character was still gay but we couldn't say it explicitly.

...we didn't want to get hung up on the fact that one actor's management felt that it was a career killer for him to play a homosexual which, as a gay man, I found incredibly insulting.

We had episodes planned for him to be in, and she pulled him from the show altogether. So that's why he sort of disappeared.

Dekker did get the Connor role - but would Zach's sexuality really have stopped him netting the deal?

On Grosse Point, Dekker played a gay character, and very openly so. Perhaps that show simply wasn't as popular enough. Or, at least, not as popular with the kind of people who'd a) see a gay character and assume the actor was gay also and b) have a problem with that.

I'm not a fan of Heroes at all, but I can see that this kind of 'compromise' isn't the fault, necessarily, of the show's staff. And I'm hoping Dekker chnages managers. Staying where he is effctively condones homophobia.


Will said...

It was very obvious when the show started that Zach would come out at some point.
In this day and age should it really be such a big deal to play a gay character?

Brendon said...

Very disappointing, isn't it?