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The Actor’s Side of the Gay Heroes Controversy

May 7th, 2007 · No Comments · Culture, Heroes, LGBT, Politics, Science Fiction, TV

Heroes title shotStill catching up on stuff I meant to post last week. As a follow-up to my previous post about the gay-character-on-Heroes controversy, Thomas Dekker, the actor who played Zach, has now told his side of the story in a posting to his MySpace site (warning: incoherent, monitor-shredding layout. In other words, it’s a MySpace page.) In the interest of equal time, here’s some of what he had to say:

I am truly sorry for what transpired on the series and who it has effected … I would like it to be known by everyone, that I have played a gay character three times before in my career … To me acting is about being prepared to play all kinds of roles and it is an honor and a challenge to portray ANYTHING that comes my way.

What transpired on heroes is something far more complicated than anyone being “afraid” to make Zach homosexual. The character that I created in the beginning of the show, a process I take very seriously, was based on Zach being an outcast who had a burning love for Claire, a crush that drew him to her and effected every ounce of his self esteem around her. I created the character that way because it was WRITTEN IN THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT that he was in love with Claire.

… What ensued later was a combination of miscommunication, confusion, surprise and last minute desicions, not a knee jerk reaction from me or my team. Lastly, I want to make it VERY clear that me leaving Heroes has NOTHING to do with this “gay controversy”. You will notice, I filmed five or so more episodes after the situation, and only at that point, months later, did I even begin to audition for Sarah Connor Chronicles. Only then, once I got the part of John, was I not permitted to do any more episodes of Heroes. That’s just how television networks work.

With Thomas/Zach having moved on from the show for good, let’s hope the producers will start focusing on creating a new gay character for the show. In fact, I’d be surprised if they didn’t already have one in the pipeline. Let’s just hope that this time the actor and his or her management are down with the plan from the beginning.

• Previously on Ocelopotamus: Holding Out for a Gay Hero


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