More behind-the-scenes drama at Seattle Grace! Brooke Smith has been shown the door at Grey's Anatomy, abruptly ending her character's budding sapphic relationship with Dr. Callie Torres. Smith's last appearance as the steely Dr. Erica Hahn will be this Thursday.
"I'm not written out," a stunned Smith told Entertainment Weekly. "My final scene is just me heading to my car."
It's a surprise move by the formerly gay-friendly ABC, especially after Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes talked up the lesbian relationship to TV writers in July. Online chatter suggests the decision came from the network, not Rhimes, and that other gay-themed storylines have been altered or scrapped from future scripts. Say it with me: Seriously?!
Katherine Heigl was a cake walk compared to this!
Meantime, Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica) and Melissa George (Alias) walk into that mess this month as a hot-shot cardiac surgeon and an intern, respectively. George's character, who is an old friend of Merideth's, was originally written as a love interest for Callie. Good luck with that!
Shonda Rhimes, who must be weary of doing damage control by now (in between running two successful TV shows), released the following statement:
"Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian. 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."