A traffic jam,
When you're already late,
A no smoking sign,
On your cigarette break.
"Ironic" —Alanis Morrissette
Congratulations to One Life to Live, which tonight took home the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Daily Drama Series, the same week the show's executive producer Frank Valentini decided to stop "advancing story" for the groundbreaking couple that helped them achieve the nomination in the first place. Sorry, still bitter. Kudos to OLTL's head writer Ron Carlvati, Scott Evans (Fish), Brett Claywell (Kyle), Nicholas Rodriguez (Nick), Robin Strasser (Dorian) and everyone else involved in this amazing, if not "mainstream", story.
This week in Daytime,
I called bullshit! One Life to Live's ratings decline was blamed on the gays because the storyline reportedly doesn't "resonate with the mainstream audience." Which loyal and core audience does ABC Daytime think helped make Grey's Anatomy the No. 1 show in all of primetime? Who do they think tunes into ABC's Sunday night scripted lineup of Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters? Who do they think made the Bravo network a smash success? Who do they think tuned in to Ugly Betty for four seasons? Fans of soapy storytelling and gays, that's who. The same "mainstream" audiences who enjoy the gay storylines at nighttime and on cable are the very ones who watch in the daytime.
The Kish storyline and its lead characters are far better than any gay storyline Desperate Housewives has given us. Kyle (Brett Claywell) and Fish's (Scott Evans) relationship has been more organic than anything the soaptastic Shonda Rhimes has penned for her lesbian characters on Grey's Anatomy. I would put Kyle and Fish up against Brothers & Sisters' Kevin (Matthew Rhys) and Scotty (Luke Macfarlane) any day. To ABC's rationale I say bullshit!
ABC Daytime has provided Daytime Confidential with a longer statement about One Life to Live executive producer Frank Valentini's head-scratching decision to stop advancing story for one of the soap's most popular couples, Kyle (Brett Claywell) and Fish (Scott Evans).
"The groundbreaking Kyle/Fish relationship on One Life to Live was embraced by fans both as a great story and a fair and honest reflection of the LGBT community. We’re glad their story resonated with the audience, and understand the fans’ disappointment now that it has concluded. The show has a history of bringing LGBT stories to the screen— earning two GLAAD awards in the process— as well as returning popular characters when they serve the ongoing story. These great characters remain in Llanview, and while there are no immediate plans to advance their story, the door is always open for their return."
I am really trying to remember all of the other reasons I love this show and not be too reactionary, but it's hard. REALLY hard!
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) isn't too happy about One Life to Live's decision to kick Kish to the curb. In a statement to TV Guide Canada, GLAAD president Jarret Barrios revealed his organization had sought out ABC Daytime to advocate for the popular pairing of Kyle (Brett Claywell) and Fish (Scott Evans) to no avail.
“The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today advocated for continuation of the storyline of characters Kyle and Fish on One Life and spoke out on the importance of bringing fair and accurate media images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to Americans. Last summer, One Life brought a ground-breaking relationship into the homes of millions with Kyle and Fish’s story, one that built acceptance and understanding of gay people. While we understand that the close of storylines is a frequent occurrence on daytime dramas, cancelling this story just as it gains momentum is a step backward in ABC Daytime’s representation of the lives of gay Americans.”
He continues, “When news reports broke yesterday, GLAAD spoke to ABC Daytime to voice concerns over the cancellation and advocate that the storyline continue. We remain disappointed that ABC Daytime has chosen to stop sharing this powerful story with viewers of One Life. GLAAD will continue to advocate that in the near future, producers and writers at ABC Daytime incorporate gay and transgender characters in their programming.”
Outraged fans across the web are springing up to do whatever they can to prevent One Life to Live executive producer Frank Valentini from scrapping what many (including myself) feel has been the most authentic and successful gay love story daytime has ever told, that of Oliver Fish (Scott Evans) and Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell). The best effort I've spied so far is the "Don't Put Kish In The Closet" Post Card Campaign.
I haven't said much about all of this up until now, because my old J-School prof used to advise me to wait for 24 to 36 hours to write about something that really gets me fired up. Now if you read me here on this site, or follow me on Twitter, you know I rarely follow that advice, but for something this sensitive, this imperative, this game-changing for OLTL and, in my opinion, the entire industry, I decided to take a breather for a couple of days.
Call the Daytime Confidential hotline with your reaction to One Life to Live's kiss off of Kish! Your comments will air on an upcoming podcast.