Op-Ed: Ryan Murphy and 'Glee' Flip a Giant Middle Finger to the Show's Lesbian Fans
For invested fans of any couple or storyline there are bound to be people who are disappointed with a break-up, and yes, it is nice to see representation in happy, and even popular, couples. But Murphy and the gang missed the real point with their trigger-happy anticipation of lesbian outrage. Lesbian fans of Grey’s Anatomy stood by Shonda Rhimes and the Callie / Arizona / Mark triangle because it was a thoughtful and sincere story that didn’t thumb its nose at Calzona shippers. And fans of Pretty Little Liars’ lady-killer Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) watched and waited while Emily flirted with possible attraction to a male character this season because her search was plausible and real. Guaranteed, lesbian fans would have come to love a Brittany and Sam (Bram) coupling if the storyline were thoughtful, heartfelt and true and best for the characters but Glee’s writers, who must surely have a collective God complex, couldn’t allow the narrative of the response to happen organically.
The writing team at Glee couldn’t wait for the story to unfold before issuing a reprimand to lesbian viewers most certainly creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. While a Brittany and Sam coupling could have unfolded with little incident were it told sincerely and well Glee’s fuck you of a rebuke to its lesbian fans was hateful, cynical and unforgivable.
But it's easy to understand Murphy's need to control. He was taken to task years ago for a couple of half-assed lesbian storylines on Nip/Tuck, and rather dig deep to see if he was telling those stories with truth, sincerity and plausibility, even in the wacky world of Nip/Tuck, he turned his paranoia outward to use a beloved character to villify the entire lesbian community as "violent" when faced with a boy/girl romance for a bisexual couple.
Last year when a fan Tweeted at Grey’s showrunner Shonda Rhimes that she was pandering to the gay community Rhimes replied, "Isn't love universal? Isn't that the point? That you can watch a straight couple in love or a lesbian couple in love and what you see and feel is the LOVE? How is that pandering? Maybe I've been pandering to straight couples all this time."
Pretty Little Liars showrunner Marlene King once told AfterEllen in an interview that she was “honored and proud” to bring Emily’s storyline to life to help others “know that they aren’t alone.”
With showrunners like Rhimes and King who're supportive of their lesbian fans, who needs the bitter old crumbs that Murphy tosses to the lesbian community?