GLAAD Responds to Grey’s Firing

November 4, 2008
The dismissal of Grey’s Anatomy star Brooke Smith (Erica) brings an abrupt end to the blossoming romance between Erica and Callie, played by Tony-winner Sara Ramirez. When Grey’s began developing a romance between the two characters, the show’s writers and producers turned to GLAAD to bring in expert voices, women who had previously been in relationships with men before they discovered they were attracted to other women. Chemistry appears to be the motivating factor for Smith’s untimely demise, and Grey’s producer Shonda Rhimes insists that Callie’s story will continue, and goes so far as to call the character a lesbian, not just bisexual. “Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian,” Rhimes said in a statement responding to early press reports to the contrary. “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.” “While we are disheartened that the burgeoning relationship between Callie and Erica on Grey’s Anatomy has come to an end, the character of Callie, who has now been identified as a lesbian by show creator Shonda Rhimes, remains and her journey continues,” says GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano. “Because there are so few lesbian characters on network television, we hope that ABC and Grey’s Anatomy will commit to further developing Callie’s character and her relationships, and continue providing this important representation on one of TV’s most-watched shows.”