Thursday, February 15, 2007

the language of intolerance?

The past couple of days it has been coming out that the actor Danso Gordon, who plays Spencer's adopted black brother Clay on the teen television show "South of Nowhere", will not be returning for the show's 3rd season. Danso's reasoning:

Yes, I will be leaving the, when, I dont know. I am leaving for my own personal reasons that have to do with my Faith and personal integrity. It was a difficult decision to make, however, when someone is involved in something that directly opposes his/her integrity, then that person has to ask themselves why they are doing it. For the money? To make sure they don't offend people? I asked myself these questions and I obviously came to my answer...the show went against my personal Faith and integrity and therefore I made the difficult decision to leave. I appreciate your kind words (smile) and I also wish you ALL the blessings that God has planned for you in this year! God bless.

Hmm... well, I suppose that there could be any number of things in the show that went against his integrity and personal "Faith": the scantily clad teenage girls, the premarital sex, Glen's addiction to painkillers, Paula's extramarital affair, Chelsea's almost abortion ... But of course, the glaringly obvious issue is the intimate relationship between Spencer & Ashley, which has been the main focus of the show since the first episode of Season 1, when Ashley reveals that she is into girls and Spencer gets all shy and embarrassed. In addition revealed that the editorial director of South's network, The N, let it slip that one of the actors on the show "felt that the positive portrayal of coming out -- and the decidedly less positive picture painted by a conservative Christian mom who tries de-gay her dykey daughter -- was "morally wrong."" Hence, this actor asked to leave the show. Interesting ... things starting to come together now?

Well, of course I have a few things to say about this (don't I always?) First of all, the direction of the show was obvious from the beginning. It's interesting that it took two seasons for him to decide that it was morally wrong for him. Apparently it wasn't wrong enough for him to spend two years profiting off of it. Secondly, I find it appalling that he can actually say those things without any fear of actual consequences. Isaiah Washington refers to T.R. Knight as a "fag" and the press is all over it -- suddenly people are calling for him to be fired from Grey's Anatomy. But so far the response I'm seeing towards Gordon's remarks are something along the line of, "It's too bad he's leaving the show because Clay was such a positive character. But I respect his personal beliefs." So, when intolerance and homophobia is dressed up as "personal beliefs" and "morals" it is suddenly okay. Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised since the world doesn't seem to have a problem with systemic and institutional racism but gets all politically correct about what to call people of color.

It's my opinion that we need to stop making it alright for people to hide behind their so-called "Faith." Faith has been used as justification for just about every kind of hatred and oppression, and the LGBT community and its allies needs to stop treading so lightly around this issue. Why should we respect the beliefs of people who have no respect for the way we live our lives? I have as much respect for freedom of religion as the next person, but I also believe in basic human rights. I don't believe that anybody should be allowed to hide behind religion when it comes to treading on the basic worth and dignity of other persons. Obviously I'm not saying that he can't believe in what he believes, because clearly there is no way to stop someone from that. What I am saying is that it shouldn't be accepted anymore than one would accept someone saying, "I'm sorry, I just can't work with this Jewish person. It goes against my personal integrity." The intolerant are certainly not going to change themselves. We need to start being a little less tolerant of them if we want anything to change.

Now what I want to know is, if South of Nowhere comes out on DVD, is there a way I can make sure he doesn't get any royalties from my purchase? Alas, probably not.

Well, here's a lovely little video from youtube of some cute Spencer & Ashley moments ... haha, just to spite you Danso Gordon!!!