WaPo Critic Seethes as Grey's Anatomy Drops Lesbian Character

Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes is demanding more outrage over the abrupt removal of the character Dr. Erica Hahn from ABC's popular Thursday night drama Grey's Anatomy.  

Entertainment Weekly reported earlier this week that Smith was let go from the show and that last night's episode would be the last Grey's episode in which she would appear.  Hahn, played by actress Brooke Smith, recently came out as a lesbian on the show and was involved in a relationship with Dr. Callie Torres, played by actress Sara Ramirez.

In today's Post de Moraes took other Grey's cast members to task for not publicly decrying the decision to remove Hahn's character:


What this story needed was a little outrage.  Since Monday's revelation, T.R. Knight, the alleged victim of Isaiah Washington's homophobic comments on the show, and [Katherine] Heigl, Knight's most public defender during that whole tzimmes – have been uncharacteristically silent.

The Post critic even railed at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for not taking a stronger stance.  GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano released a statement saying he was “disheartened” but also acknowledging that the lesbian character Callie “remains.”  de Moraes snapped:  “Really?  That's the best they've got?” 

However, de Moraes failed to mention the explicit turn the show took in recent episodes, which may have led to Smith's firing while the show was being filmed several weeks ago.  Some of the scripts discuss lesbian sex uncritically, in terms too explicit for CMI to repeat.   

Unlike de Moraes, Entertainment Weekly reporter Michael Ausiello acknowledged that the explicit content may have been responsible for Smith's firing, rather than the character's sexual preference.  According to an unnamed source, Ausiello wrote, ABC “execs expressed concerns to series creator Shonda Rhimes about some explicit aspects of the love story, specifically recent episodes with Callie rhapsodizing about exploring Erica's 'undiscovered country…south of the border.'”   

Ausiello also cast doubt on the idea that ABC has a problem with promoting lesbianism by reporting that a new character who is scheduled to premiere next week is a bisexual woman.

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.