Queer Baiting

I don’t think I’ve ever said that TV would be better if all the characters were gay. At least, not while sober and actually thinking. That doesn’t reflect the world at large.

I have said, and will keep saying, that queer baiting is wrong.

“What’s queer baiting?” Queer baiting is when you dangle the chemistry between actors and/or characters in front of an audience that has a very strong LGBT membership, to get their attention and make them want to watch the show…

[Right now, smart people are saying “But wait, dangling possibilities is just how any show can and should get higher ratings!” True. Let me finish.]

…and then, instead of acknowledging that, owning it, and then just not letting it happen…

[because after all, who wants to see ACTUAL GAY PEOPLE as the stars of a TV show? surely no one! not real Americans, right???]

…actually mocking that viewership and saying, in effect, “What? No, absolutely not. There’s no gay content in this show. There’s no gay subtext. You’re imagining things. We don’t do that, we don’t pretend to do that, that’s not any part of this show, and you’re all crazy for thinking it or suggesting it or wanting it.” EVEN WHILE YOUR TWO MAIN CAST MEMBERS SAY OPENLY AND OFTEN THAT THEY PLAY IT UP ON PURPOSE.

Behaving like that is like tossing down a wonderful, catnip-infused toy and, when the kitten leaps on it excitedly because it’s never had a toy before and is thinking, “FINALLY, ROWR!”… kicking the kitten clear across the room and sneering, “You little asshole, I knew you’d go for it. There’s no toy, idiot.”

You know what it makes you when you do that? Yeah. You’re the asshole.

JANET TAMARO.

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