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Even the Straight Guy Playing Gay on Modern Family Doesn’t Want to Hear Your Kiss Complaints

Clearly the team at Modern Family isn’t taking our advice to embrace — rather than bash — the Facebook campaign to let Cam and Mitchell kiss. Eric Stonestreet, the straight actor who plays Cameron, says the whole thing is “wasted energy.” Ouch.

“We’re a show that obviously is forward- and progressive-thinking,” Stonestreet tells Daily Intel. “To adopt a baby on prime-time television is way more taboo than a kiss, and obviously Mitchell and Cameron are going to experience everything in their relationship. Unfortunately, I’ve been tweeted and sent messages saying that because I’m straight, I don’t get to have an opinion on that, which really disappoints me. I play the character and I think I get to have an opinion on it.”

Not true, Eric! Being straight doesn’t mean you don’t get to have a say in the campaign, because undoubtedly lots of straight fans want to see the gays kiss too. (Well, the straight fans who aren’t weirded out by seeing two guys kiss.) But can’t we all just say that, yes, a gay kiss is coming, and yes, producers want to make it happen as much as fans, and yes, everyone appreciates how much the fans care about the show?

Because that would be progressive. At least what counts as progressive in Hollywood.

By:           Arthur Dunlop
On:           May 19, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 37 Comments
    • jimstoic
      jimstoic

      Can’t they just be a non-kissy gay couple? Such thing exist!

      May 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Devon
      Devon

      @jimstoic:

      And according to network television they’re the only kind of gay couple that does exist.

      May 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      Maybe Mr. Stonestreeet doesn’t want an onscreen kiss.

      May 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @Mr. Enemabag Jones: I’m not saying I agree with him, but I think it’s more that he’s tired of all the criticism the show is getting than it is him having a problem kissing another guy.

      May 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @Devon: Uh…hello? Should we run down the list of network shows where gays have kissed?

      May 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      I’m sorry, Adopting a baby is way more taboo than kissing?! Since when?! I believe a shitload more states allow gays to adopt than to marry. And calling gays adopting a “Taboo”?! Who the hell is this guy?! Every time somebody from Hollywood opens their mouths they sound more and more like they are from Rural Mississippi.

      I’m curious, which straight couples on the show don’t have kids OR don’t express affection…oh thats right none of them, so I guess we should be glad that they ALLOWED the gay couple to break the horrible tabboo of adoption. As for it being such a great depiction of gays, I find it typical that as a straight actor he plays Cam as just this side of Nathan Lane in the birdcage as far as queendom goes.

      May 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      God forbid someone portray a gay character as queeny when none of us are that way in reality.

      May 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 7 · fredo777
      God forbid someone portray a gay character as queeny when none of us are that way in reality.
      _____________________

      Running around shrieking, yeah, we’re all like that. Every one of us. combine that with no effection shown and basically what they have done is given us a neutered couple of clowns.

      May 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @Cam: Calm down, Rosie The Riveter. Even on the very same show, the other half of that couple is not nearly as over-the-top theatrical. And perhaps hetero Stonestreet isn’t comfortable kissing another guy for the role. I’d prefer if he were, but I wouldn’t exactly hold it against him.

      May 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 9 · fredo777
      And perhaps hetero Stonestreet isn’t comfortable kissing another guy for the role. I’d prefer if he were, but I wouldn’t exactly hold it against him.

      ____________________

      It’s called Acting. If he is uncomfortable then he shouldn’t have auditioned for the role of a gay guy.

      May 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @Cam: I’m familiar with the concept of acting, but I think Eric does a fine job in the role + I’m not really missing anything by not seeing the couple kiss. I tune in for the humor.

      May 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • j
      j

      I think the picture sums this up entirely. Is this really what happens when straight men write gay? Slightly disappointed. And I agree that Eric seems to think we should feel very priveleged that one of our ilk was allowed to break that most unspeakable of taboos and adopt on tv, we should be glad we even got that far! Now, physical affection, a key component of any relationship? We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, let’s just be grateful we have adoption, ok? Thank you very much eric! I’m really very grateful to you. Really.

      May 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ConcreteN
      ConcreteN

      I honestly don’t get this obsession with them kissing, who cares? Just because they aren’t going at it on prime-time TV does not mean there is some bias against gays. I’d much rather see the family dynamic with them raising a child then them kissing

      May 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      the gays on this show screw up and mistakes….and some gays aren’t happy about this….. ie “the gay kiss” scandal to make the show go away….i said it..please don’t censor me too….

      May 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adamblast
      adamblast

      Stonestreet is an exceptional actor, but his characterization of Cam is so close to a Richard Simmons impression that it’s already starting to get offensive around the edges.

      When you’re a straight man playing a queeny gay man, you’re already in waters that have hurt us considerably before. Ignoring or purposefully misrepresenting our feedback makes matters worse.

      And when the show’s actors and creators refuse to acknowledge an immediately apparent (and long historical) double-standard towards gay affection–and claim that we should be giving them our unconditional love for already being so progressive–they hurt their own case considerably.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmi
      Jimmi

      @Cam: That’s affection, dear.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      Only watched 1 episode briefly so I don’t know the characters. But if you contrast this to Queer as Folk, one can see the difference. You have queeny gays (Emmett) as well as normal gays (Ted), the sexpot (Brian) and the geek (Michael). It showed a nice range of gay character types AND showed guys kissing.

      Now I know it’s asking a lot for prime time tv. But really, that’s how gay dudes should be shown.

      To show one couple kissing and the homos hugging. That’s pathetic. A quick peck on the lips won’t kill anyone. Brothers and Sisters has this down.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MickW
      MickW

      Good for him, everybody always want to tell other people how to write their shows, if you don’t like it produce your own show.

      As far as the character being fem, that was what the writer envisioned, I could complain about the fact that the character is white and that you never really see gays of color on prime time television but I don’t.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @scott ny’er: Having seen the show all season, I agree.

      What’s more bothersome to me are the queens rushing in to defend this.

      The internalized hatred in the gay community, not matter what the issue, is amazing.

      There is always someone gay rushing in to defend gays as second classed. To me, whether its this kiss, the Newsweek article or politics where they prioritize being a m member of a party over our equality, its always the same- gays are too sensitive rather than this makes us second class.

      When you think about someone like Rand Paul, who say tonight that he’s not sure that business should be required to follow the civil rights act regarding race, one has to wonder how far down the rabbit’s hole some in our society are regressing. By to the topic, I wonder how far down the prior generations of views of gay people some gays are willing to fall back on no matter how far we move forward. Its like they hold on their issues more than they can see the progress as being important.

      @MickW: Your last comment is a two wrongs make a right statement. In other words, because we don’t see people of color who are gay (which as a black gay man I think we should see more shows like Six Feet Under and The Wire) you say that means whatever else happens is also justified. I get the feeling if this were a situation about color, you would rationalize that too as creative freedom as you do at the start of your post.

      Back in reality, shows are written according to what audiences want. This is commercial TV. Not an art project. If they wrote a show about a gay couple having sex on the table every week, you don’t think the straight audience would react?

      May 20, 2010 at 5:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robb
      Robb

      @ConcreteN:
      YES!! That is as precisely the point (in my view).

      May 20, 2010 at 6:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @ConcreteN: @Robb: To concrete and the sock puppet- because in real families, couples both kiss each other and raise their children. I didn’t realize until you posted that we had to choose between the two, but thanks for sharing.

      May 20, 2010 at 7:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WalkderDC
      WalkderDC

      Wow, after hearing that actor I’ve totally changed my mind. He is right, we are lucky that they even dare to show the couple adopting a child without her suffering a glitter and feathers accident, or accidentally leaving her at a Madonna Concert, so how dare anybody expect them to portray the couple in anything resembling a rational depiction.

      May 20, 2010 at 7:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thedarkchariot
      thedarkchariot

      @Cam: I know I’m going against the grain here too, but that’s exactly the way I feel. They’re neutered clowns (perfect description). Kinda of the comedic uncles (indeed, they are uncles to the star couple Phil and Claire) getting into wacky hijinks.

      May 20, 2010 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rf
      rf

      Well I don’t watch this show because it looks incredibly annoying (i tried it for 10 minutes) so I’ll comment. Two gay men adopting a child is not very controversial for two reasons. 1. 49, and soon to be 50, states allow gay adoption. That’s a better track record than DADT repeal support. 2. It’s not “in your face” to the public. Unless the two men are holding hands as they walk down the street with the baby or they are very stereotypically gay, strangers will not necessarily tag them as gay. In the real world there is a great suspension of disbelief when it comes to believing people are gay. Sorry but when I see and hear those anti gay freaks (Rekers, Haggard), they seem so totally gay (stereotypically gay) to me and no way to mistake it and yet, the rightwingers never question it. And more than that, I think most gay people still can “pass” and don’t read as stereotypically gay at all.

      The correct way to handle this is to have them hug a few times over several shows in public and have one of the other characters who notices ask why they don’t kiss. The answer (and it can be implied and not directly stated) should be that these out gay dads (or one of them) are too freaked out to kiss in public in front of strangers. Then, the one who is most against PDA’s plants a big wet one (15 seconds minimum) on the other one somewhere crazy like a sports stadium. Now that would be a strong, controversial, and important statement on the current situation of gay people in America.

      May 20, 2010 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @rf: Building on what you said. Yes, maybe there is something in the works that explains why he doesn’t like kissing in public (but hugging is OK). Maybe he was gay bashed and that’s why (altho the hugging thing would be a flag as well to bashers). So giving the writers/producers benefit of the doubt, maybe, just maybe, that’s what they are planning and going to do that in a funny way.

      The character doesn’t seem like an Archie Buncker type, one who wouldn’t want to fuss with any PDAs. So, it’s just very hard to understand why the character wouldn’t kiss in public. It’s a little weird.

      May 20, 2010 at 9:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      Oh and that’s not to say that the LGBT community shouldn’t be grateful that there is a gay couple shown prominently on prime time tv, and that they have a kid. That’s definitely a great thing. I know I’m grateful for that. This type of exposure is good exposure. But, a peck, when you meet your loved one, I mean, what’s the big deal. It’s weird not show that.

      I mean, even John Travolta gave his hired help a peck on the lips when saying goodbye (or was that hello). And John Travolta isn’t gay (winky, winky). And/or that dude isn’t “involved” with him.

      May 20, 2010 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nottachristian
      Nottachristian

      GET OVER IT! Are we never satisfied? Next you’ll demand dry humping on the sofa. It’s a sitcom. It’s reflective of society so I’m more than satisfied and hopeful. And yes everyone is entitled to an opinion, even gay portraying straight actors. Get a grip and channel your energies into something that matters.

      May 20, 2010 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 27 · Nottachristian
      GET OVER IT! Are we never satisfied? Next you’ll demand dry humping on the sofa…..Get a grip and channel your energies into something that matters.
      ___________________

      Isn’t it facinating that the little Hollywood defenders ALWAYS come in here and try to liken any gay openess to X-rated sexual activity? I believe a person in an earlier post on a similar thread said that we were idiots and wouldn’t be satified until there was a double anal penetration scene.

      It is really telling that that is the mindset, that showing any affection between a gay couple is just one step away from the most feared gay activity among straights, the icky thought of BUTT SEX.

      As for channeling our energies into something that matters. Well perhaps repealing DADT and getting ENDA wouldn’t be so damn difficult if TV studios weren’t so fucking homophobic that they were are terrified to show gays on TV as anything but neutered Will, or dancing clown Jack.

      May 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @Cam: OMG. Someone actually said that… about the double anal penetration thing. That’s just sad.

      And yeah, I agree with what you just said.

      May 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @D’oh, The Magnificent: “What’s more bothersome to me are the queens rushing in to defend this.
      The internalized hatred in the gay community, not matter what the issue, is amazing.”

      What’s bothersome (read: annoying) to me is how any gay person with a differing opinion on such matters has to be dismissed as “self-loathing”. It has nothing to do with self-hatred + everything to do with not being in such a mad dash to get offended over any perceived slight. And, in the grand scheme of things, there ARE bigger fish we as LGBT have to fry + that our collective energy would be better spent fighting for.

      If I felt the show was ultimately intent on being homophobic, I wouldn’t be bitching about how they could tweak it to my liking, I’d just stop watching altogether + state my case for why I did so.

      May 20, 2010 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yuki
      Yuki

      Er… haven’t they already stated that they’ll be tackling the OCD one’s issues with PDA? Doesn’t that imply that they’ll kiss eventually, AFTER the character has overcome his problems?

      May 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 31 · Yuki
      Er… haven’t they already stated that they’ll be tackling the OCD one’s issues with PDA? Doesn’t that imply that they’ll kiss eventually, AFTER the character has overcome his problems?
      ___________________

      The character was never labeled as having a problem with PDA until this campaign started, then the studio suddenly says that he has an issue with PDA and they were going to do an episode on it….next season. Funny how that issue was never mentioned before.

      May 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      While I am all for equality and kissing, blah blah blah I have to be honest. I have been following this show since the beginning and I never once even noticed they don’t kiss until this campaign came up.

      I don’t know why, but this show to me is for entertainment and that alone. I don’t think that EVERY depiction of a gay couple on TV needs to be groundbreaking or over progressive.

      Having gays in a committed relationship on TV is already progressive.

      Having them NOT sleeping around and whoring it up in a club or bathhouse is progressive.

      Making them a non-sexual couple is also progressive, because many in this country think that gays only think about sex.

      Are we proving their point by campaigning for a kiss?

      Every single one of these actors, down to the kids, is a brilliant comedic performer. They have their timing down and delivery perfect. I laugh until I pee while watching this show.

      So calm the hell down about them not kissing. Who the F cares anyway? This show is supposed to make you laugh. So pull that thing stuck up your butt, make some popcorn, sit back and just enjoy the freakin’ show!

      May 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ellis
      Ellis

      So let me get this straight…its an insult for gays to be told they can’t play straight characters…and then its an insult for straight guys to play gays?

      you can’t have it one way. it goes both ways or no ways.

      May 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Webtser P
      Webtser P

      God you phaggs sure are uptight! Must be why your divorce and “breakup” rates is worse that straights. Chill and keep your lips on your own faces. It’s less gross that way.

      Jan 27, 2011 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hans
      Hans

      Arthur Dunlop, you are one of those gays who can’t shut the fuck up until you get approval from Daddy. Get the fuck over trivial, petty shit like this and worry about bleaching your taint.

      Oct 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
      Little Kiwi

      the reality is that the show (like the films Philadelphia, Brokeback Mountain, and even the series Will & Grace) are “Gay for Straight Audiences” – this is why they all take a decidedly de-sexualized approach to homosexuality. (although, truthfully, Brokeback is more about bisexuality)

      it’s entertainment for Straight Audiences, and that’s why it’s filtered/neutered in the way that it is.

      i see it two ways – it’s a necessary way to “reach” middle-America-style audiences. it serves a positive purpose. it is, however, a continued form of tiredness for Gay Audiences who, frankly, have to continually see “ourselves” neutered in order to be “accepted” or Tolerated.

      i love modern family. but i do find it, like most shows, a reminder of how much more Work we need to do as evidenced by the fact that the gay characters are devoid of the sexual energy and indeed physical intimacy that is shown in nearly all heterosexual-relationships, even in Teen series!

      Good on Modern Family. You’re doing good work. There are just a lot of us who wish “we” had a show that featured “us” that didn’t worry about censoring who and what we are in order to get non-gay viewers.

      Oct 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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