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37 December 9th, 2012 Lipstick-Gate Continues! Andy Towle Posts Response To GH Head Scribe Ron Carlivati’s Comments To Gay Blog’s “Felix” Backlash!

Courtesy/ABC

Perhaps Andy Towle of the uber-popular gay blog, Towleroad realized he spoke to soon after General Hospital’s head writer, Ron Carlivati gave Towle and his readers a lashing for their negative and often offensive comments on the creation and execution of the brand new character of student nurse Felix Dubois on GH.

Felix has thus far only aired on one episode, and somehow this controversy had spun out of control.  However as we reported yesterday, Ron took to the Towleroad site and expressed his outrage and disappointment at the comments which was instigated by Towle’s original post which stated, “General Hospital debuted a new character this week, a gay nurse played by actor Marc Anthony Samuel. To establish his character as gay, his first scenes involved him pulling out a tube of lipstick and offering to touch up a heterosexual woman. Oy.”

Today, there has been an update to the situation, where Andy Towle pulled back from his original stance and in many ways offered an apology to Carlivati! Towle posted, “There’s no question in my mind that Mr. Carlivati should be allowed the chance to develop his character more fully before judgment is passed and I regret if my commentary suggested that it should. My expression of “oy” over what I perceived to be a stereotype may have been hasty, but was also informed by having written this site for 9 years and seeing more than a few damaging caricatures in television and movies along the way.  I’ve also reported very positively on other soap characters written by Mr. Carlivati. I’m looking forward to seeing how his Felix Dubois character develops and thank him for his remarks and reaction.”

So what do you think of Towle’s remarks now? Classy?  The right thing to do, especially after it seems Felix and head writer, Carlivati got quite the verbal bashing?  Let us know your thoughts!

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  1. Tsuds says:

    Very classy… We all make mistakes… Great Job to everyone for the maturity level you all have shown on a blog….. Let’s hope that LeAnn and Brandy can find some of that same class over on radar-online. Very classless for both LeAnn, Eddie & Brandy. Those poor kids ….. Very Sad… those kids should be taken away from all three of their parents for what they are doing! Deal with it in private!

    Reply

  2. Sarah White Sees says:

    Yes, that was definitely the right thing to do, and I’m glad Mr. Towle is willing to not be so hasty. Given Mr. Carlivati’s track record as a headwriter and as one who has developed gay characters before, I thought the bashing was totally out of place. Especially since we had only seen Felix once!!

    Reply

  3. Cady McClain says:

    One of the major problems with the internet is that we can “react” so quickly, letting others know of our offense to some comment or situation, the instant we have it. I think the rule that says “If something offends you, sleep on it a day before you react, especially in writing,” is a good one to remember. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t enjoy free speech, it just is a suggestion to consider the damage ones words can do.

    Reply

    aria replied

    Very good point Cady, and by the way, when will you grace us on tv again? would love to see you on GH.

    Reply

    Cady McClain replied

    I would play a lesbian character without a second thought. I embrace all sexual identities and I think that when they are portrayed as compelling characters, especially in daytime TV, they help the broader culture have more compassion for all people and how we are all different in our specifics, and yet the same in our humanity.

    aria replied

    will somebody contact Ron and Frank, i’m game. I’m loving the idea!

    bc replied

    To Cady McClain: You were very impressive as rosanna cabot on ATWT! one of the best chars. I’d like to know what is your opinion on the utter lack of representation of Asian americans from hollywood? hollywood seems to portray majority of Asian american males as 1. dorky and asexualized char who’s an accented foreigner 2. asexualized martial arts expert. While the better Asian american roles get whitewashed and given to actors like tom cruise and relatively unknown actors like david henrie and jim sturgess. It’s worse for Asian american women bec majority of their roles are racist and sexist: 1. “dragon lady” 2. submissive 3. hypersexualized when paired w/ a white male. Hollywood’s lgbt chars are portrayed w/ humanity and yet hollywood seems to be openly racist towards Asian americans.

    it seems like people erupt at the slightest “flaw” of an lgbt char and yet it’s completely acceptable how hollywood marginalizes and is openly racist towards Asian americans thru their portrayals. There was a film called “the goods” starring jeremy piven where an Asian american char was physically bashed by his white colleagues bec of pearl harbor bombing. The bashing of the Asian american char was done comedically w/c made it all the more disturbing and it furthered the stereotype that all Asian americans are monolithic bec the char was not Japanese. Would hollywood ever gay bash an lgbt char and portray that comedically? Highly doubtful. I think that this whole gh “controversy” is quite odd considering how there are a ton of unique lgbt representations on soaps and primetime soaps and primetime shows and films.

    Reply

    Cady McClain replied

    I’m glad you mentioned that daytime could use more Asian-American characters, because I handily agree. Our country is one full of diversity and uniqueness. Soaps seem to have been dominated by Caucasian characters up to this point, perhaps part of the idea that it was the “norm” in the main stream mindset, while anyone who was from a different culture was not “as American.” That fallacy and those days are behind us, I think, and it’s wonderful to see shows like “Grays Anatomy” reflect our diverse culture without focusing so much on our differences in appearance. Sandra Oh’s character, to me, seems to be portrayed as an everywoman, full of flaws, humor, and desires just like any woman.
    I think any group has a right to complain when they feel they are being represented unfairly, or in a way they think is slandering to them. There is no statute of limitations on prejudice, racism or sexism, sadly. Those of us that have been at the effect of such hurt have to both speak out, like you are, and take action. But we also have to speak fairly and with dignity, or the cause of our complaint is lost in drama and distraction.
    Finally, I agree that entertainment has to be careful in its depictions of those who have been already slandered, although not every filmmaker or storyteller can be as sensitive as Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick stated that the world of a film is a dream, that allows our subconscious to act out in ways we would not in real life. When done well, film and TV and theater can convey powerful human fears and needs and explore them, but the mediums cannot be beholden to
    politics, or the story is not a journey but a message.
    In my opinion the best way to de-politicize racial and sexual tension is for characters to not be stuck into a box, defined solely by their race and/or gender, but as the complex character the writer intends.

    Scott (ATWT Fan) replied

    Beautifully spoken Ms. McClain!!!! Beautifully spoken, so eloquent and very true. We always jump to the immediately reaction, which at times is not always a bad thing, but can sometimes lead us to say things in a way that isn’t so respectful of all. I agree with your posting all the way!

    Reply

    bc replied

    To Cady McClain: Not only are you a talented actress but you’re very eloquent and one of the truly open minded among hollywood! My central gripe abt hollywood is people there tend to proclaim to be very “liberal” and “progressive” yet majority of films and tv tend to marginalize racial minorities and women while somehow preserving the white male establishment. NBC universal recently cooked up this new cooking show broadcast around Asian countries. The premise of the cooking show is that it features a rotating panel of male models around Asia who are deemed as the handsomest and strangely a large number of them are part white and have lighter skin and more Anglo physical features and names. Their part white racial backgrounds don’t make them “less Asian” but the larger issue is the brainwashing of what is considered as attractive and thus “idealized” w/c then becomes a modern way of colonization. But the problem really originates from hollywood. The film “cloud atlas” is abt rebirth. The artistic expression of the film makers was to use the same actors wearing prosthetics to portray the same souls. That has its merits. They cast white actors who used yellowface to portray the Asian chars. But they didn’t cast any white actors to portray the black slave char bec blackface would definitely be considered offensive. Yet the film is protected from criticism regarding yellowface and discrimination bec one of its directors is transgendered. That seems to be a running sentiment among hollywood types. showrunner patrick king who is openly gay was part of this panel discussing his 2 broke girls sitcom. Critics were asking him abt the stereotypical representations of the African american char Earl and Han the diner owner who is Korean. The strange response from king was that he can write these kind of portrayals bec of his orientation minority status being gay. It seems like glee isn’t critiqued for its racism and whitewashing and weightism and ageism and misogyny precisely bec its showrunner murphy is openly gay. the problematic portrayals of hollywood originate from the writers and showrunner w/c then affects the broader pop culture. It would be great if you could be a part of a writing team bec you obviously get it. You’d be an asset. Here’s hoping more actresses are like you! Good luck w/ your career as an actress!

    bc replied

    To Cady McClain: congratulations on your engagement to john lindstrom. BTW regarding your opinion on the idea on whiteness as the “norm” among the mainstream mindset: hollywood really promotes this ideal even on the casting level. It’s assumed that a char is white whenever a char’s race is not specified on a casting call. the mainstream entertainment media from hollywood and manhattan are problematic bec they marginalize racial minorities. Descriptions like “girl next door” and even “classically beautiful” and especially “all american” are often racial code words for white actresses and chars. it seems like the mainstream entertainment media are less vocal when they critique hollywood’s racial issues and portrayals but they are more vocal when they demand more lgbt chars and storylines.

  4. Tammy Kreiss says:

    Jealousy is ugly on everyone. If you’re not familiar with someone’s work, you can’t judge it, which actually reminds me nobody is in a position to judge anyone, unless it’s a game show! #GoteamCarltini

    Reply

    Krista replied

    lol beleive me, I know how rotten Jealousy can be. I’m a Christian and shouldn’t be that way, but I’d be lying if I said I was jealous of some friends of mine who are doing things in the church, like dance, public speaking and all I’m doing is cleaning, which is good, I love cleaning the church. My point is that they are doing something out in the open which is something I really wanna do as well. I’m not jealous of THEM. I’m jealous because they’re doing something and I’m not. and I know that’s a bad thing, but I just can’t seem to get over it. It’s rotten!

    Reply

    Tammy Kreiss replied

    That’s different, you do not criticize, or insult them because they can do something you can’t. That should be motivation for you, as well!

  5. k/kay says:

    Maybe this was all a publicity stunt? Because I sure do not know how you can comment on a character in just one episode of course I have not been watching been busy with work etc so this was all news to me are you sure that wasn’t the intention after all.

    Reply

  6. Nancy says:

    Ron and Frank are the best in the business and the whole issue is way behind the times. This is the 21st century and Ron should be allowed to handle it anyway that he wants. LEAVE HIM ALONE

    Reply

  7. Troy Turner says:

    I read the apology this morning-and it was classy of Andy to step back. Unfortunately, many regulars on Towelroad don’t seem to agree. Very sad, really

    Reply

  8. dg says:

    First of all as much as I am not a fan of Carlavati as a writer I have to say that the Kish story on OLTL was one of the most non stereotypical, realistic portrayals of gay men Ive seen on TV period.
    Much like his detractor I also grow very weary of all the effeminate stereotypes that dominate TV today. I havent read the comments by the blogger. But I can appreciate the perceived sentiments against stereotypical depictions of gay men. I think they do the gay cause zero good. But in this particular instance I think he did jump the gun and should wait to see how the character pans out.
    That being said I have zero interest in the character because he is not tied to any of the core families that I care about on GH. And the actor is a complete unknown to me so again no interest here.
    I think its a big mistake to tackle important issues using newbies. Also has Carlavati forgotten that our beloved Bobbie Spencer as a gay adopted son still out there. Why not bring him back and hire a daytime vet to play him? And rehire Jaclyn Zeman also!! I appreciate the fact that the character is black and gay ( lord knows that’s rarely seen on TV). But again he’s a young newbie and Im not interested.

    Reply

    Jeff replied

    So, the only way a guy can be introduced is if he’s a core character? However, it’s fine to introduce straight characters who aren’t related to any core family? -__-

    Reply

    dg replied

    Jeff you have completely misunderstood my comment. The orientation of the character is of no consequence to me. My point is that homosexuality is a very emotional and controversial issue to explore even in today’s liberal social climate. So in my opinion viewers will have much more at stake with the character if he is tied to a core family.
    Viewers watch soaps to follow the lives and loves of the characters that they know. We follow them through various generations and they become like our real family. So consequently I believe that as a writer its much easier to get an audience emotionally invested in a character from a family that we know and love, rather than trying to get us to care about someone we dont know. That’s all. I would say the same thing about a straight character facing alcoholism or drug abuse ect. These are issues that inspire emotion and empathy. And its easier for an audience to become engaged and care more about characters they know and love rather than new strangers. Its called emotional investment and its key to a successful story.

    CTwildheart replied

    No Jeff, that is not the only way. But I happen to agree with the hope that this character (if he’s staying around) will have some sort of ties to a character other than Sabrina.

  9. Angela says:

    He realized he may have spoken too quickly and he apologized. Everyone makes mistakes. He saw he had and made it right, Good for both of them.

    Reply

  10. Rodd says:

    That’s terribly decent of Mr. Towel, but I still wonder about his comment about “damaging caricatures”; referring to the character of Felix. Why shouldn’t someone be able to show a lip-stick wielding gay character or a hostile lesbian on TV? They’re out there. I think what’s damaging is saying that all gay people are just like straight people. I sure hope not! People are people, goy or straight. I think it only gets demeaning when you fail to show the human side of a character and write them only as a “caricature”. I sure Ron will not write a one-demensional character. Just you wait and see.

    Reply

  11. su0000 says:

    None of us have a clue as the personality Felix will have..
    We know nothing about him .. We saw him for about a minute.
    I am excited about the new character and looking forward to ”getting to know” Felix..
    I am now wondering what type of personality he will actually have..

    Reply

  12. boes says:

    Good for him, pulling back the way he did. There’s not enough class out there to begin with, and unfortunately the internet doesn’t foster good behavior.

    Ron C. spoke out, and Andy Towle heard him. I respect him for that, a lot.

    It will be a great day when a character’s sexuality isn’t seen as THE core characteristic. Not there yet, but we sure have come a long way. In my youth there were NO gay characters on soaps at all. Now we actually get to debate how they are portrayed. Never thought these days would come.

    My hat is off to Ron C. and to Andy Towle. Adult behavior is so refreshing.

    Reply

  13. Patrick says:

    Days – has Will and Sonny…

    B&B – has Danielle and Karen…

    GH – has Felix…

    C’mon! Y&R!!!! ???? join the rest of the world.

    Reply

    Robert in Jersey City replied

    YES! http://groopii.blogspot.com/2012/07/marco-dapper-shirtless-in-young-and.html
    Marco Dapper. “Abby was all a mistake, I really love Billy”

    Reply

  14. k/kay says:

    So I can not get Laura back on the show but I can get a new character and that is going to help keep the show on the air! First we have to deal with Mad Frankestein and making a woman police commisioner look stupid then I read that everyone is being held at the clinic in Switzerland. Really makes you want to watch it. Not!

    Reply

    BTripp replied

    Sorry you are not enjoying the fan faves from the 90′s like most of us. Maybe you prefer the mob storylines that most of the fans complained about for years. Faison, Anna, Robert, and Duke are huge characters from GH’s past and if you didn’t watch the show back then you missed out. You may have since you know who Laura is. I would love Laura to come back also and she may but if she does they will keep it a surprise which I think is great because too many things get spoiled and it ruins it.

    Reply

    Scott (ATWT Fan) replied

    There is no room for Laura on the show right now.

    Reply

    k/kay replied

    I did not say anthing about not enjoying the faves from the 90′s I just stated I would have preferred a storyline with Laura rather then this guy but their running the show not i so they can do want they want.

  15. susan M. says:

    I enjoy Gh a lot… I think Anna’s character is great. The whole thing with Faison & the clinic is intersting to me.Anna & Robert will be paying that clinic a visit and get Robin back to home with Patrick & Emma….I enjoyed it years ago when Anna & Robert were in the WSB..It was the intrigue & suspense & we have that again now….Faison is a real
    piece of work…

    Reply

  16. Rob says:

    I work in a hospital, its a true melting pot and I have bumped into many a “Felix”, I actually think its refreshing they have someone they dont feel the need to butch-up.

    Reply

  17. LeRoy Davidson says:

    I found the Felix character wonderful. I know so many like him, and not only are they fun, but have a giant heart. It will be so exciting to see his character developed further.
    I loved what Frank V. and Ron C. did for “One Life” and they are providing that very same magic to “GH” by adding fresh approaches to much-loved characters from the past, as well as the current ones. They can do no wrong, in my opinion.

    Reply

  18. TylaMac says:

    I think that blogger definitely over reacted.I can understand why gay men wouldn’t want to see only stereotypical,effeminate gay characters on TV. But most gay male characters on the soaps have been very masculine even when portrayed by gay actors.We’re all adults here and we all know that some gay men are more “flamboyant” and have careers that are traditionally held by women,so why shouldn’t they be represented on a soap? So far,I’m loving Felix. I don’t see anything offensive about him. Many,many straight women have a BFF like Felix.

    Reply

  19. Krista says:

    I am a Born again Christian, and I won’t get into what’s right or wrong, but I really don’t care if Felix is gay or not. However, if you put him in a relationship, then I’m done watching! as I’m sure others will to. I love GH (probably more than I should). I don’t care if he’s gay, but I WILL stop watching if you put him in a gay relationship. I loved OLTL, but when the gay relationshipsstarted, I stopped watching

    Reply

    Krista replied

    I’m just curious. Is he gay in real life?

    Reply

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