tv exits

Mad Men Creator Fulfills Own Prophecy About Out Gay Actors, Nixes Bryan Batt

Well we knew there was trouble brewing for the gays at Sterling Cooper when Bryan Batt’s Salvatore was out of a job when Mad Men came to a close last season. And now that filming is going to begin in March, and Batt having not been called back to work … this has “character assassination” written all over it.

Matthew Weiner, the show’s creator, all but acknowledges Batt is no longer part of the show: Seeing Sal go “was a tough moment for the show, but that’s where we are. I know how people felt about Bryan. I obviously love working with him, and he has been an indelible character since the pilot. But I felt it was an expression of the times that he couldn’t work there anymore. It’s the ultimate case of sexual harassment.”


In television, and real life. And it’s not like Weiner ever had high hopes for openly gay actors to begin with.

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  • Jeff

    I give the creator credit for including a gay character from the start and for portraying him realistically for the time and setting.

    I think one of the strengths of this series is its devotion to the detail and reality of the period, and Salvatore losing his job should not be unexpected for the culture of the time.

    The alpha male chauvanism is integral to the plot of this series. I don’t see this as assassination of a gay character at all. I’m a fairly militant gay, and I view this as just the way things were at that time. If I thought this was any kind of discrimination, I would be all over it.

    Mad Men is a superb series.

  • ggreen

    There were many gays during that time that because of family connections, political connections, major talent, etc they were untouchable in the work place. Many acted extremely queeny but yet wielded a lot of power (Roy Cohen). The Ad business was full of them. Remember Leonard the queen with the purple kitchen floor tile in “Lover Come Back” (1961)? A fictional character sure, but based on someone.

  • Jeff

    @ggreen: You are right. However, I never got the impression from a story line that Sal had family or political connections or that he was an indespensible, extraordinary talent. Sterling-Cooper is quite a chauvanistic setting.

  • David Ehrenstein

    The other shoe has finally dropped.

    Weiner is a piece of shit.

  • dvlaries

    This fucking stinks.

  • RomanHans

    This fucking stinks II.

    Salvatore resisted the advances of a male client, and that client had him fired. So, it’s a gay man who’s responsible for the gay man being fired. And the heterosexual men who ran the world in the 60s — and didn’t hire homosexuals who weren’t closeted — find themselves with clean hands.


  • Daniel

    Far-too-many in Hollywood need to simply pass the reins to younger people. Seems the current crowd of oldies are clinging to a past that the current world doesn’t actually give a crap about. Every so often Hollywood runs into this problem. Pass the torch to new fresh talent, already. Anymore rehashing of “good-old” days-gone-by or remakes of old films is brain-deadening.

  • tony

    Tnere was another gay character on the show? He wasn’t at all self conscious about it and quite open with his language.

  • gomez

    it makes sense considering the character’s arc in the world of “mad men”

    it’s just business. nothing personal

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    Another Hollywood liberal showing us he’s liberal about eveything–except sexual orientation. Maybe Bryan was getting too popular, and that pissed off Weiner, so he did to him what he did to his Emmy winning writer, Kater Gordon. This also begs the question; would he have fired Bryan if her were straight? God forbid an actual queer play a long running character who is queer. I’m sure some het will come along and fill Bryan’s shoes and all the breeders will breath a sigh of relief.

  • Steve

    The guy lost a 25,000,000 dollar account in the 1960s.

    That’s not even adjusted for inflation.

    Hell yes he got fired.

  • rodrigo


    wow! I never thought about the lilac colored floor and its reference in lover come back (which is one of the best yet underrated movies ever!)

    as for mad men, I agree about the realities gays faced back then, all mostly fueled by ignorance and stereotypes. I think it was a good move to kick him out of the show, I mean would have he been kept in real life, back in the 60’s?

  • IJelly

    OK, so now there are no gay people on a show about the advertising industry in New York in the 1960s. For a show that prides itself on authenticity, that’s about as authentic as a show about the New York banking industry without any Jews.

  • Marcus

    @IJelly: I so agree.

  • erik

    It would have been nice to see them deal more with the discrimination and then have his character leave. would have seemed more real. Don is the only one who knew of his true sexuality and seemed to ignore it as long as it didn’t interfere with his job. This could have been a very relevant and strong storyline.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    No. 1 · Jeff

    I agree. Mad Men is an awesome show. And considering the time is which its set, I don’t see any unreal about a gay character being let go.

    However, I which the show could continue to follow Sal’s future story arc – possibly accepting himself, getting into a same sex relationship and all the problems that went with that in the climate of the era – and possibly moving toward being more of an activist.

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