The Cast of Queer As Folk Reunites For The First Time In Seven Years

In what promoters are hailing as “The greatest reunification in Germany,” the cast of Queer As Folk is coming together in Cologne this weekend for Rise’n Shine 2012, a dream-come-true convention for the show’s legion of international fans.

Almost the entire cast will be there—Hal Sparks (Michael), Randy Harrison (Justin), Sharon Gless (Deborah), Peter Paige (Emmett), Scott Lowell (Ted), Robert Gant (Ben), Michelle Clunie (Melanie) and Thea Gill (Lindsay)—marking the first time since QAF‘s original run that the gang has been brought together.

The only no-show? Gale Harold, who, in a very Brian Kinney-esque move, cancelled his appearance at the last minute due to “a wonderful work opportunity [that] has only recently come my way.”

The event will go on anyway—”This is still is a QAF convention, and not a Gale Harold convention,” said one insider—and perhaps it’s better off without him: One QAF actor indicated Harold was not universally loved among the cast and predicted “a different actor” might play Brian in any reunion show.

Filling in for Harold will be Harris Allan, who played Michael and Ben’s adopted HIV+ son, Hunter.

Running June 8  to 10, Rise’n Shine (the name a nod to a common Brian quote from the show) is the brainchild of Elke Kriebel, a Cologne travel agent and diehard aficionada of the U.S. Queer as Folk, which ran from 2000 to 2005 on Showtime and spawned numerous fan clubs. The full program includes Q&A’s, a sightseeing tour, and photo/autograph sessions with members of the QAF cast, plus a charity auction of show memorabilia and numerous parties around the city.

“I thought she was maybe just an overexcited fan with a funny dream,” Lowell said in an interview last year of Kriebel. He and fellow castmates calculated what it would take to actually get them all to Cologne and presented the figure to Kriebel, assuming it would scare her away. “But it didn’t,” he says, “and now it looks like it is actually going to happen, and we are all so thrilled.”

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  • dvlaries

    >>One QAF actor indicated Harold was not universally loved among the cast and predicted “a different actor” would play Brian in any reunion show.<<
    Oh, three guesses who!

  • Joan

    Hi Dan:

    The QAF actor who predicted “a different actor” [one who would replace Gale Harold] might play Brian in any reunion show is clearly out of touch with reality and unfortunately has a personal axe to grind with Mr. Harold. And we all know which QAF actor fed you this crap.

  • ddb

    How about getting off Gale Harold’s back? No, Harold is not “universally loved” among the cast. To wit: he is not loved by the eternally jealous Hal Sparks, the only cast member who has ever said a negative word about him, or any of the others. Sparks has been nasty about Randy Harrison too. He’s obviously the “insider” you cite.

    As a matter of fact, Sparks (a “truther” who believes the U.S. government was complicit in the 9/11 attacks, and brought down one tower in a controlled explosion) has made nasty remarks about many people and things. He has said AIDS stems from a lack of self-esteem, and that SARS (at the very time it had killed more than 200 in Toronto alone, the city where he then lived) was a trumped up “media disease.” He has a long history of untoward comments.

    Gale is known to play poker regularly with former cast members (without Hal) and they have all, except you-know-who, said lovely things about him. He has taken part in joint radio interviews, etc., to which Sparks complains he wasn’t invited. Gale has shown up to plays starring Randy Harrison and Scott Lowell, and to Peter Paige’s screenings. He has been present when Sharon Gless received an award. The others have come to see Gale in plays in both L.A. and New York.

    You never hear of Hal at any of these things. This is one of the rare times since the show ended that he has attended an event with any of them. In fact, he announced years ago that he remained friendly only with Robert Gant and Harris Allan. Some “insider.”

    As for the “Brian Kinney-esque move” of taking a job, if you recall, Brian Kinney on the show was by far the most financially successful of the group. Other than Sharon Gless, Gale is the QAF actor who gets the most work. According to Scott Lowell, Gale was offered “a wonderful movie.”

    Many of us were surprised he agreed to do the convention (which he was undoutedly legally obligated to attend if he did not have a work conflict) at all. Unlike Hal Sparks, who basks in the limelight, Gale has never seemed to enjoy being himself in a crowd. He has gotten notably more comfortable with fans since his near-fatal motorcycle accident, but it is probably fair to say that he is still the shyest and most private of the QAF cast …. AND the one most likely to be assaulted, stalked, or greeted with a long line outside a stage door. This motorcycle mechanic from Georgia just doesn’t like being made a fuss over all that much, yet none of the others are greeted as he is greeted. Even so, he signed a contract, and agreed to shmooze fans personally. I’m impressed.

    The cast members all undoubtedly had the same out-clause in their contract, and any one of them would have exercised it as Gale did, if an offer of real work had come along. In fact, Wil Wheaton of “Start Trek: The Next Generation” recently cancelled his appearance at a fan event for precisely the same reason– a movie– and Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles of “Supernatural” BOTH recently cancelled one simply because they didn’t approve of the way the event was being organized. Gale is hardly the only actor ever to cancel an appearance at a fan event.

    These are actors, not simply celebrities. Gale is just coming off a canceled series, and he’s supposed to turn down a movie to be in Cologne? It’s churlish to throw shade on him over it, when the man just wants to practice his art and earn a living. I’m delighted he found another gig so soon. He’s a remarkable actor, a great beauty, and (everyone and everything attests) a uniquely charismatic individual. One, moreover, who has NEVER breathed a public word of criticism of any colleague on any show or movie he has EVER done. It’s called class. Everybody ought to have some.

  • Carl

    Well, this is a shame – one month before I’ll be visiting Cologne for their CSD (Pride) festival! Queer as Folk was a great show (although the UK original is still the superior specimen), would be great to meet the cast!

  • Morgan

    Bitter much? Hal is an attention hog and sour grape. Gale has work, a con comes 2nd to work for any actor and I can’t wait to see what it is.

    Gale has, for years, had much contact with his fellow QAF cast mates (not including Hal) and they are all good friends… ALL but Hal, what does that tell you???? They have made appearances together (everyone BUT Hal)…. Really, I think we can see what’s going one here…. a smear campaign.

  • Morgan

    PS… a follow up with another actor playing Brian?!?!?! LOL…. maybe 2 people would go see it! What a joke, I sure as sh%t would not…no Gale, no me :)

  • Em

    Anyone who has been a member of the QAF fandom for even a short time knows of the close relationship Gale Harold has with all the major castmembers…except one – Hal Sparks. When Gale was injured in the motorcycle accident it was Scott Lowell who kept the ex-cast members updated as to his condition and stayed close by Gale. Sharon, Randy, Thea, Michelle, Scott and Peter…the original core group all have expressed over the years their friendship with Gale. As other posters have noted, Hal has continuously made rude and insulting remarks aboutr Gale. Hal thought, since he had been a TV celebrity of sorts (Talk Soap) that the QAF would center around his character and was not pleased when the Brian/Justin characters became the focus of the majority of fans.

  • MKisNE

    To those of you assuming we all know who is saying what.. we don’t! But I want to know :-P

  • Cam


    Could all of the little fangirls and boys going on and on about the guy who played Brian calm down. You offer all of these supposedly true details to back up your points.

    Fine, then at least provide some links.

  • Pazul

    Thank God that show si gone. Could have been great but turned into ridiculously stupid soap by season 2 if not earlier

  • tlf

    We all know Hal Sparks is the “inside source”. He’s been saying trash about Gale and Randy for years.

    The QAF actors are all still close, especially Gale, Scott, Peter, Michelle & Thea. There are frequent photos of them on Facebook and Twitter at casual get-togethers, such as Scott’s birthday party or New Year’s Eve at Michelle’s. They attend each other’s plays and screenings and all participated in a radio reunion — except Hal (who complained he “wasn’t invited”). Hal is noticibly absent from all of these events.

    As for someone else playing Brian Kinney — will NEVER happen.

    @Cam — all you have to do is google “Hal Sparks and Gale Harold fight” and you’ll get all the links you want.

  • Carl

    I didn’t even know there was this amount of… discord between some of the cast. I’m not going to get into the “he said, no he said” stuff – it’s a shame Gale won’t be there, it would be great to have almost the whole core cast present. Ah well, work happens – I’ve been to many a convention where one of the headliners has to drop out due to sudden work commitments.

  • Kim

    @ddb: thanks for link I knew Sparks was a hole from Uncensored show on Reelz

  • ddb

    @Carl: Actually, Carl, there IS no “he said/he said.” There’s only “he said.” Nobody in the cast ever responds to Hal’s poison– which hasn’t stopped it.

  • Daez

    A reunion without Gale Harold as Brian is pointless. The only reason the show was able to get any viewers over its five year run was because of Gale Harold as Brian. The rest of the cast, except for Sharon Gless was so contrived and untalented that it is not at all amazing that the only two actors still acting in anything noteworthy are Gless and Harold.

  • Carl

    @ddb: I’ve always been of the opinion that there are two sides to every story, no matter how black and white they may appear. I’m not saying I agree with Hal – or Gale. Just that I was unaware of it and am generally uninterested. To me, the real shame is that one of the central cast can’t attend this event, which I REALLY wish was in one months time, when 1) I would be in the city and able to attend and 2) it would dovetail perfectly with Cologne’s annual CSD/Pride festival.

  • Daez

    @Morgan: It would be awesome if they did make a follow up. It would be even more awesome if they dumped the character of Michael altogether. The first scene could be the cast at Michael’s funeral. Hal Sparks has no talent, is relegated to taking “roles” on Sirius XM and doing stand up, and is bitter and jealous regarding anyone that can actually act and has actual star appeal.

  • Carl

    @ddb: Cancellations by guests at conventions due to unanticipated work commitments are a relatively common occurrence. Most such events (especially TV ones – heck, every single event I have attended has had at least one drop out or curtailed appearance) will have at least one guest drop out due to scheduling conflicts, as that is the nature of acting. To my knowledge, all contracts have such a clause, since the income the actors make from a public appearance is far less than an acting job. The lack of such an opt-out clause would cause many not to risk signing for an event at all, less it cost them a valuable job.

  • Daez

    @Carl: I agree. There are always two sides of the story. In this story the two sides are that Gale Harold is an amazing actor which made it easy for Brian to be the stand out in the show and that Hal Sparks was a talentless has been that is jealous of hell of Harold’s success.

  • Dick

    ”This is still is a QAF convention, and not a Gale Harold convention,”

    This line came from Scott Lowell’s FB page. As for another actor playing Brian in a reunion show, Both Gale and Randy had indicated that they did not want to do a reunion show, that they did not want to play the character anymore. .If they made a show and those characters were part of the show they would be played by other actors because of their choice, not because of personality conflicts.

  • Carl

    @Daez: Again, it’s all he said/he said stuff to me. Whether it’s accurate or not, I’m really not bothered. Once again, to me the interesting/sad part is that Gale can’t attend, as a near full cast reunion would be awesome: even better would be a Queer as Folk meets Queer as Folk event, bringing together the original UK cast with the US remakes cast. Now THAT would be a truly great event. On the flip side, it’s great that Gale has found work so soon after coming off another show, so more power to him.

  • dvlaries

    >>One QAF actor indicated Harold was not universally loved among the cast and predicted “a different actor” might play Brian in any reunion show.<<
    Now there's some real fear talkin'.
    No, no, if Harold and Harrison signaled genuine willingness to reenact their characters a decade later, any casting 'corrections' made would be in the hope of shoring up previous inadequacies, leaving this unnamed "actor" with something to really whine about, and certainly ‘uninvited.’

  • Richjr42

    Gee,i wonder what this “wonderful work opportunity” is. Perhaps another soon to be cancelled show on the CW or,maybe,an indie movie that NO ONE but the Gale faithful are going to see by the tens before it fades into obscurity just like his other ‘movies’.

    Hal,meanwhile,has his rock band,a new weekly series on Disney Channel,his own radio show,a weekly spot on radio/TV show host Stephanie Miller’s show and is,occasionally,part of her live touring comedy show.

    Whatever Hal’s problem with Gale was during the show is in the past,time to move on.

    They have…some far more successfully than others…

  • Carl

    Great, fanboy-fight, just what we need. I’ve seen enough of those in Buffy and Star Trek circles. Can we all just agree it’s a damn shame he’s had to drop out?

  • dee-dee

    Is Burn Notice not shooting right now?

  • ddb

    @Richjr42: This is a difficult business. You never know if a movie or a series will succeed or fail. All the more reason not to turn down a promising opportunity if you’re offered it. If Hal’s career is going so grandly, then perhaps HE should move on. His rock band is closer to a garage band than to Maroon 5, his series is for children, and it’s on a Disney offshoot channel I can’t even find in my lineup, and I’m afraid I don’t know who Stephanie Miller is. I wish Hal luck with his career, and I note that dramatic acting seems to be in it absolutely nowhere. He is not in competition with Gale Harold. Matter of fact, they’re barely in the same business anymore. Let go of it, Hal.

  • Bilby

    “A reunion without Gale Harold as Brian is pointless. The only reason the show was able to get any viewers over its five year run was because of Gale Harold as Brian. The rest of the cast, except for Sharon Gless was so contrived and untalented that it is not at all amazing that the only two actors still acting in anything noteworthy are Gless and Harold.”

    Daez, the Brian character was the pivotal character, but don’t overdo it. There is/was much love for the other characters as well, and many of the other actors are as good or better than Gale. Gale and Brian were a marriage made in heaven, but Gale has turned out not to be a particularly versatile actor. I still hope that he finds another role which suits his style, but nothing seems to have come close since QAF finished.

    Gale has managed to get more TV work than the others, but it really hasn’t been that impressive. Thea Gill and Michelle Clunie have both had largish TV roles (though also in crap TV shows). Randy Harrison hasn’t even really looked for TV roles (or not particularly aggressively anyway), as theatre is more his thing. Peter Paige has been busy producing, directing and writing. I know it might be hard for you to believe this, but maybe some really do prefer to be creatively fulfilled rather than appear in any old crap on TV as Gale has done.

    Scott was the one who said the the con is not the Gale Harold Convention (I believe on Twitter), etc, so I don’t know why this website is being coy about that.

    I’m amazed about the mystery actor who supposedly made negative comments about Gale. If this is really true, then it’s hard to believe that this could be anyone else but Hal. It’s weird that he would say such things after such a long time.

  • Cam

    @tlf: said…

    “@Cam — all you have to do is google “Hal Sparks and Gale Harold fight” and you’ll get all the links you want.”

    It’s not my job to seek out proof of YOUR claims.

  • ddb

    @Cam: I provided you a link to some of Hal’s remarks. You’re welcome. It’s not anybody else’s job, either, to archive Scott Lowell’s tweets, or a hundred personal accounts on Facebook, just because it’s easier for you to say “post links” than to refute. Believe what you want to. You might want to note the fact that the article itself contains no links, nor any other kind of citation. either. In fact, I myself provided the only link to Hal (who isn’t named in the article) predicting that Gale would not be in a reunion show. I knew who it was because I long ago read (and discussed with many people online) the interview in question. Googling is not a “job,” even for the laziest skeptic.

  • jack

    OMG this was the best show

    I can’t believe its almost 12 YEARS!! since it first aired

  • Belize

    @Cam: Well, apparently, you’re among the provincial few who needs to see “proof” since majority of the ones commenting have already seen it of have taken the liberty to do so. It’s not their fault you’re behind the times, child.

  • LauraBKinney

    I gotta say I had/have really mixed feeling about Gale canceling his coming to the convention but saying that he didn’t come because his relations with the other actors are tense, that’s just stupid !!!!! In my opinion his excuse was totally true and maybe it wasn’t such a disappointment for him not to come but only because he is not so happy in a crazy fangirl crowd. If SOMEONE isn’t known to hang out with the cast, it’s most certainly not Gale, having followed scott’s facebook and twitter this last year, I’m pretty sure of it.
    Anyway all of this to say, I totally agree with you even if I never could have said it just like you did ^^

  • One of the CA 36,000

    Wow, the fangirls have their claws out today…!

    Queerty and After Elton are the two gay-themed blogsites that I can always turn to when I miss “Tiger Beat”. Between After Elton’s “Gleek”-offs, with every member tongue-bathing every wet fart that comes out of that cast, and the reliable “QAF” “Gale Harold Is a God, Hal Sparks Is a Jealous Piece of Sh!t” posts, the over-the-top heartthrob worship is pretty sickening.

    Gale Harold is a bit easy on the eyes, sure, but his acting range runs the wide gamut from “A” to “a”. Sorry, but he’s quite limited. Hal Sparks is a comedian– and that’s where he’s focused his career efforts. He has a Disney Channel gig, his side gig– the band– is on tour, he’s still working with the Stephanie Miller Sexy Liberal Tour (his political work is shockingly well-researched and thorough, so you can look to him for well-informed commentary and positions), he does charity work for LGBTQ organizations…. I’d simply note that, for a “no-talent”, he sure manages to stay busy working in show business, doesn’t he? Comics tend to tour a lot, so hanging out with other performers can be difficult.

    It’s time for EVERYONE to move on, I’d say.

  • Miki

    Let’s admit it, most of us watched this show because of Brian and Justin, Brian IS Queer As Folk. While I liked all the caracters, Brian was the magnet of the show. In all the interviews I’ve seen with Gale Harold he comes across as a kind, shy, sweet person. A QAF reunion with out him is just not the same thing, but if he has a great movie oppartunity than he really has no choice. I love Brian, I love Gale and all the best to all the other wonderful actors.

  • Carl

    @jack: 13, actually – Queer as Folk first aired in the UK in 1999…

  • zz

    Gee, shall I go for a great job opportunity or attend a con? I don’t blame Gale Harold for choosing work over a fan convention. Work is hard enough to come by in all walks of life; turning down offers would be the height of stupidity.

    If this so-called insider can’t give his/her name, then his/her comments aren’t worth anything.

  • ddb

    “[Hal’s] political work is shockingly well-researched and thorough, so you can look to him for well-informed commentary and positions”

    Okay, that part stunned me. The writer must agree, then, with this: That was shockingly SOMETHING, all right, but “well-researched and thorough” it was not. Matter of fact, it borders on being psychotic. I will believe many bad things of George W. Bush, but not that his administration arranged the destruction of the World Trade Center.

  • Melanie

    Very well written! You should have been the one to write the original article. People need to start giving Gale the respect as an actor he deserves. Just watch him play Brian Kinney, a chapter nothing like his true personality to see how talented he is. Spend a minute watching him awkwardly give an interview and you will see what a kind hearted person he is, who truly feels that being on QAF was a gift. Hal is the only actor on the entire show who never has voiced the fact that the show is the reason people follow his career, let’s face it we don’t follow him for his stand up comedy!
    Cheers from Canada.

  • Sue B

    I believe that statement was made years ago but is being brought up again to stir up trouble and to divert the criticism aimed at Gale for not attending to criticism of another cast member.

    But the truth is, it sure looks like the original comment was true because Gale isn’t here, is he?

  • ddb

    @Sue B: What original comment are you referring to?

  • Brian

    Who knew this show had any fans 7 years later?
    The whole thing was a pale comparison to the original UK series.
    Skip the poorly done American version and watch the Brits.
    Aiden Gillan, Charlie Hunnam and Craig Kelly could teach them a thing or two.

  • Gay Bacon

    They should do a Babylon tour again now that I’m old enough to club and drink :)

  • ddb

    @Brian: Brian, diehard fans of the American series are generally not unfamiliar with the British original. They may like it better, they may not. They may like both equally. But the original has fewer than a third as many episodes as the American show’s first season alone, and the American series ran five years. There’s a lot more of the American version to love. Whether you prefer Brian or Stuart is a matter of personal taste, but the American version has many many fans, and so has Gale Harold. Although I like Aiden Gillen (he’s doing a great job on Game of Thrones), I’ve never thought him the sex symbol Gale Harold is. Russell Davies has said very nice things about the American version. You can pit them against one another in your mind, but you can’t make people pick a side at all, let alone your side. There’s no reason why anybody who likes the British version should deprive himself of the American version and whatever enjoyment he can get out of it.

  • David Ehrenstein

    Gale Harold was the weakest actor on the show.

  • EvonCook

    Well, it is obvious the fans certainly are concerned and ultra-sensitive about QAF actors, and rightly so as it is the best thing I have ever seen on TV about gay life in all my decades, and I did like the British version very much too. I met Peter Paige at a New York theater and talked with Randy Harrison at a BAM production. Anyone know, since you are all so well versed, why Randy is seen so little? I know he did a kind of S&M Shakespeare on 42nd street and Equus, I think, in Williamstown, but I haven’t seen or heard of him for a long while. “Sunshine” was the center of QAF for me, and I thought he could certainly go on to more and bigger things. It might not be easy, but English actors do keep pursuing their careers. And we would not be disappointed in a followup series to QAF as times have changed but many issues remain. I think Randy as Justin also did a tremendous job of showing potentially troubled or bullied youth that things could get or be better. The writers and director involved with this show really captured the pulse of a lot of issues and didn’t shy away from the sex which was magical and beautiful. Anytime you get a group of people together there are going to be some conflicts. It is too bad if someone is really ugly or evil, but I try not to let it take over and be the main topic. Lucky, lucky Cologne Germany, I wish it was New York! Much love, thanks and best wishes to everyone who made QAF a part of the American landscape and our lives.

  • ddb

    @EvonCook: Randy is less visible than the others because he concentrates on the theatre, and he’s been playing some of the most marvelous parts in some the most marvelous plays, old and new, ever. But he hasn’t been doing them in Broadway, he’s been doing them mostly in regional theaters. You can Google some of his reviews, and what you’ll find is that they are simply valentines. The guy can do no wrong on the stage, it seems, no matter who he’s playing. I myself got to see him in NYC in the pivotal role of Kent in Marlowe’s Edward II at the Red Bull Theatre (which specializes in lesser known classics, mainly of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods). He was flat-out perfect.

  • ddb

    I don’t think “not universally loved” is a quote at all (it was “indicated, not said), just the writer’s own characterization. It happens to be literally true, but we may be meant to assume that Gale is disliked by other castmembers besides Hal, and there’s much evidence to the contrary. The reporter is combining a new quote (from Scott, taken out of context) with an old quote from Hal, and making it sound like the same “insider” said both. Scott Lowell, in pointing out that this is a QAF convention, not a Gale Harold convention, was only reassuring fans that they’ll have fun even without Gale there, that all the other cast members will be attending. Taken out of context, it sounds like a slam. And the writer is adding his own editorial comments, calling the cancellation a “Brian Kinney-esque move,” saying it might be for the best that gale didn’t go. If there’s anything new here, it doesn’t concern Gale Harold, and there isn’t even a new Hal Sparks quote that we know of. You don’t imagine this writer is actually in Cologne, Germany, do you, interviewing people? He’s probably never gotten any closer to Cologne than Drakkar Noir.

  • tAB

    @David Ehrenstein:

    Gale Harold and Randy Harrison for a long time were putting the asses on the couches for that show, then in seasons 3-5 Scott Lowell came out of no where and helped add more asses. Please don’t make yourself look silly here David.

  • ddb

    David’s entitled to his opinion. It’s a minority one, and eccentric in my view, but it’s only an opinion, and he’s entitled to it.

  • Judy

    @Daez…I agree with most of these posted comments…all too often people forget actors are in a hard working profession…while things may look easy & fun before the cameras, actors put in a tremendous amount of work & preparation, including having to sometimes sacrifice a personal commitment for a work assignment.
    This is no different than people in other professions.

    As an fyi, Thea, Michelle, Scott, Gale & Randy all have busy careers. That they are not getting a lot of publicity, doesn’t mean they are idle. To the contrary, both Thea & Michelle are very hard at work on current projects.

    Thea has a wonderful singing voice & has performed in Los Angeles & Palm springs & is working on a cabaret show under the guidance of Gail Dedrick who worked with the Pointer Sisters. She received the top award up in Canada playing Blanche DuBois in Streetcare Named Desire & has numerous other serious acting awards.

    Michelle has appeared in tv shows, a movie, a play in Los Angeles & recently wrote a play she is producing for NY.She’s received awards for her work that often go unnoticed & yet are very well deserved.

    I’ve had the opportunity to see both Thea & Michelle perform & also meet them. They are wonderfully talented & caring ladies, work very hard at their craft & intensely proud of their work-deservedly so.

    Randy has appeared in numerous musicals & has a great voice.

    Scott, also a great actor, has current projects, including a guest appearance on Bones.

    While I support your right to free speech, unless you’re trying to stir a criticism pot, may I suggest you do a background check on those caring people & wonderful actors that you seem to be so bent on putting down.

    Oh, by the way, Michelle is a very much involved as a social activist, working hard for women’s equal rights & the LGBT community. She was very much involved in the 2009 march on Washington for equal rights.

    These wonderful people don’t need defending by anyone, however, I do think a disservice is done when criticisms are thrown out in public social media that seems to want negative attention and does not focus on the wonderfully creative & sometimes inspiring work done by these gifted actors.

    Yes, they’re in a very public profession, however, I would hope more attention be paid to their accomplishments derived from their hard work. They are human beings just like you & I & as such deserve the same kind of respect shown to other professionals.

    They love their profession & their efforts reflect that.

  • Nick

    I agree David. Gale was without a doubt the weakest actor on the show. That was obvious from the minute he appeared on the screen but, for many people, the chemistry he had with Randy made up for that.

  • Em

    In 2002, Randy Harrison starred in the play Deviant at the New York International Fringe Festival. In the summer of 2004, Harrison made his Broadway debut as Boq in the musical Wicked. His Off Broadway credits include “A Letter for Ethel Kennedy” (MCC Theatre, 2002), the Father in “Oak Tree” (Perry Street Theatre, 2006), Young Spencer in “Edward II” (Red Bull Theatre, 2007–2008),Eros in “Antony and Cleopatra” (Theatre for a New Audience, 2008), and Laszlo Fickes/Gerhardt Zeitzler in “A Singing Forest” (Public Theatre, 2009). Harrison has also done several staged readings for Red Bull Theatre, where he starred in their ‘In the Raw’ workshop production of “A Tyger’s Heart” in February 2011.

    Harrison has a substantial resume in regional theatre, most prominently as a featured player since 2005 at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Roles with BTF include Alan Strang in “Equus” (2005), the title role in “Amadeus” (2006), Billy Bibbit in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (2007), Frank Gardner in “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”(2007), Lucky in “Waiting for Godot” (2008), Osvald Alving in “Ghosts” (2009), Nagg in “Endgame” (2010), and the title character in “The Who’s Tommy” (2011). Other regional theatre credits include Lysander/Thisbe/Cobweb in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presented in the Spring of 2006 by the SITI Company (where Harrison has studied extensively through Skidmore College and in Manhattan); Young Tom in the Guthrie Theater’s production of The Glass Menagerie(2007); Andy Warhol in the Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of Pop! (2009); Sebastian in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of “Twelfth Night” (2010); Tim/Stuart in the Washington, DC Studio Theatre’s production of “Habit of Art”; and Ken in the George Street Playhouse’s production of “Red” (2012).

    Harrison stars as Brutus in cinematographer/director/writer Patrick Donelley’s upcoming post-modern feature film adaptation of “Julius Cesar” opposite actor John Shea as the title role, which as of 2012 is in post-production

  • zac e.

    The BRIT version is WAYYYYYYYY better than the american version

  • MontrealDude2012

    I always thought Hal Sparks was a nice guy, but have watched many many interviews with him as well as his guest appearances on talk shows, and I was following him on Twitter..and I am a pretty easy going, nice guy, but Hal Sparks kept showing this really nasty, douchebag side of himself…so I lost alot of interest in him. It was like Hal wanted to be a bad ass rebel, but it clearly is not working for him. Oh well.

  • Ashton

    Here’s the difference b/t Gale Harold and Hal Sparks.

    When QAF got started, Harold refused to answer questions about his sexual orientation. Even though he is straight, he refused to say so because he thought it could come off like he was defensive about playing gay or that he was trying to distance himself from his character and it might offend gay people. So he refused to answer, even though that surely meant that some people would erroneously conclude that he is gay. I thought that was incredibly classy on his part.

    By contrast, Hal Sparks couldn’t wait to give an interview where he shared how horrible it was to have to kiss a guy on set. If I remember it correctly, he said that it was like kissing a dog and that after scenes in which he had to be intimate with a guy, he felt dirty and wanted to shower. He later apologized. What a dick. Also, a shitty actor.

  • D.P.

    @Nick: As someone said, you’re both entitled to your opinion but… Have you ever seen Thea Gill act, even for a second? I’m not gonna argue about Gale (even if I think just the opposite of what you said), but Thea was seriously one of the worst actress EVER (I don’t really know if she acts anymore).

  • Amanda

    It’s unfortunate everybody assumed that Hal Sparks is the QAF actor responsible for proclaiming Gale Harold as not being universally loved and is using that as a chance to collectively go off on Hal. I have met Hal several times and been in social situations with him and he has never taken the opportunity to put down Gale even when asked about his opinions. I have also met Gale and was a big fan of his prior to meeting him. They are very different people with very different personalities. They both did a great job as they were hired to do to give us a show we loved and should be appreciated for that. If they agree to interact with their fans outside of that, it’s gravy for us.

  • tAB

    @Nick: So from the moment that he was on the screen, and he didn’t utter a word or even really act yet you found him to be a poor actor??? Please with this nonsense what a crazy bandwagon to jump on.

    Gale for a while was the only reason to watch, and it was his first role ever, so on the point alone he was brilliant. WOW.

  • ddb

    I’m just sorry that the author of the article couldn’t just accentuate the positive: that the convention will have most of the original cast (are Bobby Gant and Jack Wetherall going?), and that it will be a big deal, and not take shots and stir up manufactured controversy. He hasn’t got a single *CURRENT* quote from any cast member, including Hal, knocking Gale or criticizing him for cancelling (Hal may say something later, but so far, nobody knows that he has), so he dredges up an old, distasteful Hal interview, and takes a Scott Lowell quote out of context. I don’t know why all these gay “journalists” at places like this and AfterElton take out their frustrations so often on the poor guy who played Brian Kinney, but heaven knows they do. The guy who singled out this site and AfterElton as places Gale’s defenders come is quite right; these are the places he so often needs defending. AfterElton seems to have had a vendetta against him for years, even though he keeps topping their polls.

  • Nick

    “So from the moment that he was on the screen, and he didn’t utter a word or even really act yet you found him to be a poor actor??”

    Don’t be silly. Okay, from the first line he spoke then. Is that better? I thought he was awful. I think he got better but never great and in recent work he’s been back to awful.

  • Shannon1981

    Funny how Hal Sparks seems to be jealous of Gale in real life, which is oddly reminiscent of the puppy dog Michael chasing Brian on the show.

  • Andy

    Wow, I wish I could get either excited about this reunion or worked up about these comments but the only real Queer As Folk in my opinion is the original British Version. The U.S. photocopy was quite pale and uninteresting to me.

  • tAB

    @ddb: I think that a lot of older gay men had real issues with how Brian Kinney carried himself and how open and upfront he was with his sexuality. He didn’t pander to an “A” gay mentality and lived a lifestyle that they felt shined a light on the negative aspects of gay like. At first it was the crown jewel but when the realized that Brian Kinney wasn’t going to be the bad boy that fell in love and got rehab for his lifestyle the media decided to turn against him.

    I think that QAF was a slice of life sort of show that while hitting important topics, also used it’s characters to the extreme and when you have a Brian like character there are always going to be people that wanted him to settle down, to set an example, or just not be as open as he was. Brian Kinney wasn’t an afternoon special reformed poster boy so he became a target.

    BTW you have been awesome in this post.

  • Nick

    Why would Hal be jealous of Gale? It’s not as if Gale’s career has skyrocketed.

  • tAB

    @Nick: Nick Google is your friend. All of the juicy details can be found in about 30 minutes. It’s all old news and water under the bridge but Hal has said and done some vile things against Gale, Randy and others in the cast.

  • Shannon1981

    @tAB: Everyone I know of who watched both Queer as Folk and the L Word had issues with Brian on QAF and Shane on the L word. They highlight everything negative that straight people think about gay life- promiscuity, partying, never settling down. The truth is, though, that while we are moving away from all that. there are still many people in the LGBT world who live that way, well into their 30’s and 40’s and beyond.

  • Vivian

    @ddb: finally some words that make sense! Love your comment ddb: I couldn’t say it better. Thank you for expressing clear and loud our love and worship to Gale.

  • Josh in OR

    Good lord, can we tone down the slavish fanboyism? As someone who watched every episode in first run, and who owns both the original British series and the US series, I can say, happily, that both are enjoyable on their own merits. As well, while the chemistry betwee Randy and Gale was undeniable and a HUGE hook that got me interested, it was always Hal Sparks’ portrayal of Michael that spoke the most to me. Michael was who I most identified with on the show, and it was his scenes with Robert Gant and Sharon Gless that are the most memorable to me. I found the character of Brian to be abrasive, despicable and frankly, an empty, hollow caricature of what straight people view gay men as: handsome, charming, wealthy, well-groomed…yet soulless, selfish, predatory and needlessly cruel. Certainly reasons were given for why he was this way, and small moments of humanity leaked through now and then (much credit to Gale Harold, there) but I have never understood the obsessive love/lust directed towards the character.

    As for the portrayers, I laugh my ass off at Hal Sparks’ comedy shows, and have enjoyed Gale Harold in his more dramatic roles…why is it that it seems I have to pick one or the other? What is this, middle school? Neither of them has cooties, neither of them is a flawless golden god, and it took not just both of them, but the entire cast to make an enjoyable show.

    I will NEVER understand the fanboy/girl mentality…

  • MikeyM

    He obviously doesn’t want to look back which is ashame.

  • MikeyM

    This article isn’t about the UK version!

  • Nick

    Hear, hear, Josh in OR.

    tAB, vile things? Really? Not a bit of an exaggeration there? I think the word “juicy” says it all.

  • Carl

    @ddb: In general, the original version has a stronger dramatic impact because of its limited number of episodes. The remake allows greater insight to the characters lives, but loses a little of the dramatic oomph of the original – I tend to regard the original as a gay drama and the remake a gay soap opera. Both are great shows in their own right, but I tend to prefer the original for its intensity. And some scenes play better in the original (for example, the scene when the young man confronts his teacher about their silent approval of the homophobic abuse being given out. In the original he comes across as an intelligent, firm and strong young man. In the remake he comes across as a petulant child). Of course, some tiny almost throwaway moments in the original become great, fully fledged storylines in the remake.

  • Owen

    I remember Hal said some semi-homophobic things early on during the show, but I think he came around. He was a better actor than Gale Harold, who was HORRIBLE. The show wasn’t very good either, but we all watched. I guess because it was about us. Its like when African Americans watched those awful Fox and WB black sitcoms, no matter how bad they are, its just gratifying to see yourself semi-reflected in a TV character. QAF was so bad that when it wasn’t it was notable. I remember the show was on, we had been half watching it, and then there was a scene, I believe involving Scott Lowell and Peter Paige, and we were all of a sudden riveted. I remember when said scene was over my boyfriend saying, “I can’t believe I was just moved by “Queer As Folk”…

  • Owen

    @tAB: I do remember Brian uttering something like “Never trust a straight person”. I thought that so radical, and an oddly empowering thing to haear at the time. I’d never heard someone so out and militant (and I was living a happy openly gay lifestyle). I just wish he’d been a better actor..

  • tAB

    @Nick: He claimed that Gale was hiding in the closet and have lied about how the producers of QAF felt about him as an actor. One of the fans of QAF after reading the article posted above was prompted to find Ron and Dan the producers of the show to actually find out the truth. They even said that the things that Hal was saying about Gale and Randy and their feelings towards them were false and they had no clue why he was saying the things he was.

    So there is no exaggeration. While the show was on the air, Hal numerous times after gigs would tell fans how there are main cast members of the show that are in the closet and alluded to Gale being gay. Even if Gale was gay there is no excuse for someone forcing someone else out of the closet. Nor was there reason to lie and say that Cowlip would never work with them again.

    I was being sarcastic with the juicy comment since most of the time people only care about the sordid parts of the story instead of the truth.

    And Josh IN OR. Relating to a man who only gave a crap about Hunter until after he found out he had HIV really isn’t something to brag about. Michael was a sad, selfish, man child. He wasn’t kind and warm and all those magical words you used. He told Brian he should have left Justin to die on the ground. He reveled in the fact that Brian got fired during the campaign. Michael had one amazing great moment on the show and that was when he confronted Ben over his drug use and sadly that only came after Ben physically assaulted Brian. I always wondered how far Michael would have let that go on if Brian wasn’t injured. Also the way Michael treated his entire family when he was with Dr. Dave is a reason to dislike the character.

  • tAB

    @Owen: There was a lot to Brian that people refuse to acknowledge and I am not sure why that is. He was the character that grew the most. Did the most for other people not only with his check book but with his time, and I think he deserves more credit than he gets. He was Rage. He saved Pittsburgh from a horrible politician, solved a murder with the help of Hunter, saved Linds and Mel’s wedding, mended Justin both mentally and physically after the bashing, helped Michael get his store, Helped Ted stay out of jail, set Emmett straight regarding his friendships and the TV station using him, Gave Ted a career when others wouldn’t and also managed to make money for Vic’s house have he was hurt.

    Even things he disagreed with fundamentally he tried to help, like letting them use Babylon for the fundraiser. So Brian was admirable and was a good guy, but the fact he slept around was enough to turn off most older gays in the media.

    “There are only two types of straight people, the ones that hate you to your face and the ones that hate you behind your back” I always thought that was pretty damn bold to say back in 2001.

  • Henry Holland

    I loved the original, though the idea of Aidan Gillen being irresistible to anybody with a pulse was laughable, until RTD showed not for the first time (see also: the end of David Tennant’s run on Doctor Who) that he didn’t have any idea of how to end a series. Stuart and Vince on the run in the Southwest? Homo please, that’s just dumb.

    I thought the US remake was well made, but boy did I hate the writing sometimes. They’d latch on to an issue-du-jour and the anvils would come out, the characters were sometimes just mouthpieces for political rants (even if I agreed with what they were saying for the most part), plus due to the longer seasons in the US version, there was quite a bit of padding for me. Some of it was just badly done, like the whole Michael & Dr. Dave storyline or the really annoying Hunter.

    Full credit to them though, sober Ted and Blake ended up together at the end. Plus, Scott Lowell…..mmmmmm…..Scott Lowell……mmmmmm.

  • tAB

    @Owen: Also about Gale’s acting. I don’t get anyone thinking he was bad as Brian Kinney. It was his first real gig, he literally auditioned on a Friday and was on set the next Tuesday. Gale also was so good at his job that many though he was gay and I have never seen another straight actor play a gay character with such fluidity. Gale was Brian Kinney, he was in Brian’s skin and in his head. How was he bad as Brian Kinney. He was fearless, and brave and to take that role as your first job… I don’t know, I thought he played the role flawlessly.

  • tAB

    @Henry Holland: Ted and Blake ending up together in the end was so great. To get the timing right and not have it linked to their past issues was fantastic. I liked Ted all through out the show but the last two season Scott Lowell and Ted Schmidt totally won me over and made me love both of them.

  • Shannon1981

    @tAB: I cannot imagine anyone thinking Gale Harold was bad as Brian Kinney. Easily the best actor on that show.

    Also, Owen, the quote was “There are only two kinds of straight people in the world. The ones who hate you to your face and the ones who bash you behind your back.”

    Never forget that line, because, at that point in my life, I was having a hard time meshing straight friends with gay friends, and had soon abandoned many straight ones.

  • Miki

    @Melanie: Well said! I was shocked the first time I saw Gale interview, so different from Brian!! He is an AMAZING actor, so is Randi. Don’t want to get into all this cat-fight.. have fun at the convention!

  • Miki

    @tAB: I agree with everything you wrote, but there are straight people who love gay people just the same. Like me.

  • ddb

    I had problems with the way Hal Sparks played Michael (superficially most of the time, and with an affectation of infantilism), but not enough to harm my enjoyment of the show, and the show wouldn’t have worked without a Michael, an everyman. Brian may have been the character most people liked the best, but we saw through Michael’s eyes most of the time, because Brian’s way of looking at things was peculiar to Brian. Gale Harold’s acting bad? Dear lord, I could see right into his guts sometimes. He worked from the inside. Still does.

    I actually liked Michael more with Chris Potts than with Robert Gant. Strangely, Chris Potts, who in real life seems to have been an uptight straight homophobe, and not well-liked by the cast, sold Dr. Dave to me, totally and I completely got his and Michael’s relationship (Dave was making up for lost time, and treating his younger lover like a son). I never felt Ben’s deeper motivations, and I didn’t understand as easily what an academic wanted with a comic book geek.

    I think Carl [Different person #1 using similar name] writes very intelligently about the differences between the two shows, the British and American one, and so does Henry Holland. The writing on QAF was uneven for sure, and it could indeed be preachy (sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, it seemed to touch on every social issue affecting gay people at some point or other).

    The show and particular characters were offensive to many people, including many gay people, for many reasons, but having considered those reasons carefully, I consider them all invalid. It’s not Cowlip’s fault that Gale Harold as Brian reminded you of somebody who broke your heart or wouldn’t sleep with you or stole your boyfriend. It is not accidental that he represents an unapologetically sexual, non-monogamous urban gay stud, but the show contains nesting lesbians with a baby, and a nebbishy gay guy looking for love, and a romantic kid, and a nesting gay couple with an adopted at-risk kid, too.

    If you can’t respect any of the other characters, or their choices, just because they share the show with Brian Kinney and don’t (other than Melanie) hate his guts, that’s your problem. Nor is it Cowlip’s problem that the show takes place in a big city, and not where you yourself happen to live. It was never meant to represent every actual milieu any gay person could possibly live in. Eventually, maybe every kind of gay person will have his story. Gay cowboys in 1960’s Wyoming? Check. Nor was it their responsibility to create fantasy propaganda of gay people behaving just like well-behaved straight people from 1950’s television, in order to persuade judgmental straight people that the sexually charged urban gay lifestyle of 20 and 30-somethings is a myth.

    Ted and Blake ending up together was a dream of mine, and thank God it happened. The two actors brought out the very best in one another, and I never liked Scott Lowell’s acting on the show as much when he didn’t have Dean Armstrong to play off. I’m ambivalent about the way they left Brian. I kind of know what they were going for, but I found it unsatisfying all the same. Just a few thoughts in response to some of the interesting things said here.

  • tAB

    @zac e.: I think the British version is great but didn’t do a good job of explaining how Stuart became who he was. I mean yes he was attractive and had a lot of sex but there was little reason for him to be as cruel as he was at times. Brian Kinney had a hell of a rich back story and you understood where his feelings about love and relationship and his anti tradition values came from. He was physically and mentally abused as a kid and was treated poorly as an adult by his entire family. Stuart came from an ok family that just needed time to adjust to finding out he was gay. Brian’s father took a swing at him and his mother blame his being gay as the reason he got cancer.

    I also think this back story does a lot to explain why Brian would resist and rebel against the idea of becoming a redeemed member of the gay community. I liked how he created his own path and decided what he wanted to do. Even when he was unsure of the outcome he was fearless with his decisions.

    I like the British version, and the US version but like them for very different reasons.

  • Samantha

    @dvlaries: Hal Sparks!

  • Itzy68

    I so agree with you. Its sad to see that it turns out to be a catfight between Hal Sparks and Gale Harold fans.
    But there is something to be said about Hal Sparks somewhat bitchy comments about some of the cast members of the show. He is the only one that ever said anything like that and he never gets any response from the other members of the cast. Ha is also as far as I can tell never a part of the rest of the casts get-togethers private or professional.
    So from where I’m standing it looks like Hal Sparks is the one with the problem. But that is only my take off info that the rest of the cast puts out on facebook or twitter.

    Its sad that Gale is not going to be at the convention, but its not unusual for actors to cancel conventions due to other work opportunity, so shit happens, but its not just a Gale Harold con. Its a QAF convention and I’m sure It will be fantastic and I wish that I could go myself. But I will definitely be more then happy to read about everybody else’s experience of it.

  • Itzy68

    So true! I think that the “writer” of this article was aiming for trouble when he wrote this. Knowing it would make people roar. It’s just him trying to create a buzz and get some attention, something he probably doesn’t get unless he is being a “gossip trash talker”.

  • Else

    @tAB – nice name, btw. Randy would approve!
    You said “He claimed that Gale was hiding in the closet and while the show was on the air, Hal numerous times after gigs would tell fans how there are main cast members of the show that are in the closet and alluded to Gale being gay.”

    Do you have any links u can provide or is that all just rumors that have been passed down?

  • Cam

    @Belize: said…

    “@Cam: Well, apparently, you’re among the provincial few who needs to see “proof” since majority of the ones commenting have already seen it of have taken the liberty to do so. It’s not their fault you’re behind the times, child.”

    So let me see, because I don’t follow the minutia of the bitchiness between actors on this show I am provincial? You have a sad view of the world. But then again, you were over on the other post attacking Jewish people for the Conservative Rabbis allowing gay marriage, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about anything.

    If somebody comes in and says something without any backing there is no reason to believe that. If they can’t post links to something so obvious, then that speaks volumes.

    Just a show people.

  • Cam

    @Henry Holland: said…

    “I loved the original, though the idea of Aidan Gillen being irresistible to anybody with a pulse was laughable, until RTD showed not for the first time (see also: the end of David Tennant’s run on Doctor Who) that he didn’t have any idea of how to end a series. Stuart and Vince on the run in the Southwest? Homo please, that’s just dumb.”

    SO TRUE!!!! The thing that they did in the UK version with Brian that I really thought was more believable was that Stuart in the UK version would TALK and CHARM people into bed, where in the U.S. version Brian would just walk into a bar and people would fall over themselves getting to him. It didn’t read quite as genuine.

    And yes, the ending episode of the UK version was beyond stupid. A shame after such a good series.

  • tAB

    @Else: A lot of the reports about this were done at the forums when the show was still on the air. I remember thread after thread of people’s encounters with him.

    It’s not the most reliable place but the data lounge has a whole thread on it, I didn’t even know that they talked about it until I Googled “Hal Sparks tries to out cast members” The tread is 2 years old but honestly I can’t see fans making this up, the stories were all pretty consistent at the time too.,9337801

  • brian

    Shame on you. You take a comment out of context from Scott Lowell who is acknowledged in print as a very close friend of Gale’s by both Scott and Gale coupled with a very old comment from Hal Sparks, and knit it into a nasty piece of work that trashes Gale for following his profession as an actor. He took work over a convention as his contract allowed. Sure fans will be disappointed but true fans want to see Gale work so they can enjoy his work onscreen. You used these out dated or out of context remarks to suggest Gale is not close to the cast. The facts are otherwise as shown in numerous pictures of him with the cast at their plays and his and at events that benefit elderly gays and lesbians. He was even shown at Michelle Clunie’s new year’s party this year. What is wrong with you? DId you get rejected by some hot gay man who resembled Brian Kinney or even Gale Harold so let’s dump on him for that? You should be ashamed. This was ugly and you know it. Grow up.

  • tAB

    @Else: Also to expand on this when the report of this first started coming out. One of the things that made me believe the reports actually, was the fact that the thread was started by a member of the group that went. Once the first post was made, about 3 or 4 other women verified the things that were said. It wasn’t like one Hal Sparks fan wanted to start a rumor. It was more like a lot of Hal Spark fans were really disappointed in what he said. I remember on of the ladies was an older woman and Hal broke her heart because of what he was saying.

    Not only did he imply that Gale was gay, but he went as far as to talk about Jack Wetherall as well.

  • tAB

    @Cam: Davis wrote QAF based on his own experiences. Cowlip wrote QAF based on a slice of life look at certain lifestyles of gay culture. It was more political and less personal for them.

    Yes they used the UK show as road map for their show but Cowlip wanted to go further and show more. Sometimes the characters on QAF us seemed a bit cartoonish but Brian Kinney didn’t have to charm as much or woo as much because honestly he was sexuality. Brian would walk into a room or run to the bathroom with a hang over and he was hot as hell doing it. He had a reputation and when that gets established you don’t have to make small talk or buy a drink or whatever. You just get on the dance floor at Babylon and stake your claim.

  • mira

    @Daez: um…I personally think QaF had many talented actors and I know at least Randy Harrison is in a lot of theater plays. He chooses to act on stage because he enjoys it more so please do not say that no one else has talent.

    Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor were more favorite characters but they were NOT the only talented actors among the show.

  • ddb

    Hal is very shmoozy with fans, until he isn’t. When he was on Celebrity Duets (Hal will do any reality series with “Celebrity” in the title; he’s also been on Celebrity Paranormal Project, and competed on Celebracadabra), he was urging them via his two websites to put him over the top in the voting, which they certainly tried to do. When he still didn’t win, he didn’t post an oh well, thank you anyway for all your hard work, I love you, to those who voted and talked him up, he just went into a a dark silence (maybe he came back on eventually, but it sure wasn’t right away). It was as if he thought they’d let him down. He feels like those are HIS fans, and he owns them. So when somebody comes to see him at Carolines’s or someplace, he woos them with gossip, thinking they’ll appreciate being included. Yeah, sure they are, and maybe they will, but what he forgets is that they may have discovered him via QAF, and as fans of the show, they may also be fans of Randy and/or Gale. They may even be Brian/Michael shippers, and not appreciate hearing Mikey attack Brian. Liking Hal doesn’t preclude liking those he dislikes. So, he’s made the wrong remark to the wrong people a time or two.

  • cc

    The photo of Gale isn’t even from QAF; it’s from Vanished, a year after QAF ended. Brian Kinney would never dress like an FBI agent. Way to establish the bona fides of your “reporting.” lol

  • britinmyday

    Actually, the “inside source” is Scott, he tweeted those words, but not to be mean to Gale, but more directed to the people who were pissed at Gale for canceling and didn’t want to go to the convetntion anymore and thought their money had gone to waste. :)

  • Bilby

    @tAB my understanding is that Jack Weatherall IS gay and out. That doesn’t sound like much of a revelation now, but maybe it was at the time Hal supposedly said these things.

    The thing is that these rumours get repeated out and over again, and some think that gives them validity. It gives them no more validity than fans saying Gay is 100% hetero just because he was pressured into announcing his sexuality once and went with “straight” (as a bi person I know how hard it is to always explain yourself to others – and Gale has the added pressure that being straight still gets you more gigs unfortunately – not that he is bi – I don’t know what he is).

    Anyway, I wish people would stop buying into all these rumours.

  • Chance

    Wow…I never knew there was so much QAF drama OUTSIDE of the show, either between the actors or among the fans. Am I the only one out there that just watched the show and didn’t give a fig about the personal drama? Maybe I’m the only one left who enjoys fiction for the sake of fiction…Though I can’t really take the high road here. I may not follow gossip about shows normally, but I do occasionally enjoy reading it when I stumble across it…The last half hour of reading the 100+ comments really was some juicy reading.

  • Em

    @britinmyday: ”
    —”This is still is a QAF convention, and not a Gale Harold convention,” said one insider—and perhaps it’s better off without him: One QAF actor indicated Harold was not universally loved among the cast and predicted “a different actor” might play Brian in any reunion show.

    The author of the article did Scott and fans an injustice. Only the comment about it not being a Gale Harold convention” was tweeted by Scott along with nice words about Gale and how he had an opportunity he could not turn down. The rest of the comments are not Scott’s. The “perhaps better without him” comment appears to be the author’s speculation. Anyone familiar with the cast knows that Hal is the only one who did not get along with Gale and that other than Hal Gale WAS universally loved by his castmates. However I don’t think Hal made these comments recently. There WERE ill-advised words spoken by Hal in interviews and public appearances that were critical and that is old news. (Like when he said that we would never work with Gale again”.) However the writer has thrown all of that information together to produce a sensationalistic article that does nothing but stir up ill feelings.

  • Laura

    I won’t be able to go to the convention, but I have been at other events where Gale was scheduled, and couldn’t make it at the last minute. I wish him all the best and hope that whatever job opportunity he had to be there for will be worthy of his talent. If anyone going to the convention as a guest had a job offer they wanted they would probably forgo going to the convention, as well.

    I’m sure the QAF convention will be great even with Gale not being able to attend, as the rest of the cast will be there. It will be an amazing experience. I’ve been to other conventions and they were a lot of fun, very scheduled and precise, but a lot of fun.

    As for the one actor who stated that Gale was not universally loved on the set… I’m pretty sure I can make an educated guess as to who that cast member was, based on previous interviews and conventions, and I’m pretty sure that cast member will be at the convention in Germany, so maybe it is a good idea that Gale didn’t attend so he won’t constantly interrupt Gale and there won’t be any tension there. On the other hand, if I’m thinking correctly, then with Randy being there, who knows. Hopefully the rest of the cast will be able to keep this one cast member from dominating conversations. Based on other comments here, I think we all know who that cast member is. And Scott definitely should not be misquoted or misunderstood. He’s right it is a QAF convention, not a Gale convention, but Scott was also very understanding that Gale couldn’t make it and wishes him all the best.

    I realize it’s never a good idea to assume anything, but sometimes assumptions can be correct.

    I hope everyone who goes to the convention will have a lot of fun, and appreciate the experience for what it is, and the time and dedication by Scott, Elke and everyone else who worked so hard in arranging the whole event.

  • Josh in OR

    @tAB: Yeah. Re-read my post, nutter. Try responding to me, and not the voices you clearly hear talking ill of your god, Gale Harold. Michael reacted to the news of Hunter’s HIV status in much the way his mother did to Ben’s. But like his mother (who I notice you don’t demonize, perhaps because she isn’t the anti-Gale) he came around and realized that his hangups were exactly that. And he welcomed Hunter and fought for him. Meanwhile, Brian…had no growth at all. He started as a selfish, self centered, cruel bastard and ended the same way. The most unbelievable part of the entire series was that no one told Brian where to get off. But hey, it was a soap opera. All soaps need a queen bitch, and Brian fit the bill perfectly. I am not disparaging Gale’s acting, at all, simply the character. Sorry it that got all crossed in your crazy-time dogmatic mind.

  • dvlaries

    For Sparks to float a rumor that Harold is really gay, is at one and the same time both the insult he intends and a left-handed compliment that he doesn’t. Specifically, it’s an unintended admission that even Sparks knows how brutally overmatched in the acting department that he was by Harold.
    In front of the cameras, Mr. Harold left Gale Harold entirely in the dressing room once he zipped into Brian Kinney’s skin, making the character a sexually confident, often sexually aggressive, full-blooded gay man. Sparks, who during these same years, grasped every opportunity to bleat how straight he was, came nowhere near abandoning himself so robustly.
    Back on the Showtime QAF message board, the one -and only- Sparks sex scene I remember reading genuine appreciation for was the phone sex between Michael and David in episode 121. Most tellingly, the characters are depicted as being three thousand physical miles from one another.

  • Else

    Thanks @tAB! Don’t suppose you can provide any more context? Did Hal just randomly start slagging Gale off to some of his fans? Can you remember what he said exactly? I know it’s a long time ago, but this is all new to me!

  • Kari

    Gale Harold is a very talented actor, and so are the rest of the cast!!! I’m not going to talk badly about Hal just because I prefer Gale Harold. I think Hal did an AMAZING job portraying the adorable, loveable Michael. One thing though: That Scott Lowell quote was just a small sentence in a long comment. In that same comment he also described Gale as one of his dearest friends!! This “article” is ridiculous…

  • tAb

    @Josh in OR: No actually when Michael found out that Hunter had HIV he did a complete 180. Michael only cared about keeping Hunter out of his house and didn’t want Ben helping him either UNTIL he found out Hunter was HIV positive and then the world was changed. He couldn’t care less about Hunter before hand. How dare Ben want to give attention and caring to a young kid out on the streets. He actually compared Hunter to a dog. Michael completely forgot about how Brian and his mother took Justin in when he had no where to live. So no you are wrong.

    Brian Kinney isn’t my god but to not see any growth or change in that character makes me wonder what the heck you were watching. He was always giving his time, money and energy to people and projects that were important to his community, and life. Even when he fundamentally disagreed with the idea, like when he allowed them to have the fundraiser at Babylon.

    I have to say this Brian helped everyone on that show one time or another. He looked out for his community whether it was behind the scenes or right in people’s faces over it, and I dare anyone to name 5 things that Michael did for others. I can think of only 2 that meant anything to anyone. For him he was all about him. He held on to an obsession with his best friend for years, he treated his mother like crap when he was with Dr. Dave, and lets not even talk about how he treated Justin, even after they were partners in a business.

  • ddb

    From Wikipedia, with my own brackets:

    “Despite Brian’s seemingly uncaring and amoral nature, he is shown as loving his friends and will often make great sacrifices for them, even though he won’t admit it. He plans a wedding for Lindsay and Melanie [Melanie hates his guts, remember?] after theirs falls apart, and gives up his parental rights to his young son Gus [whom he loves very much], so that Melanie and Lindsay will reunite in the first season. He pushes Michael away, [by contriving to do something that will outrage his friend, at great emotional cost to himself], so that [Michael] will [cut the cord and] go back to his boyfriend. He helps his young lover Justin recover after a bashing at his senior prom, which Brian attended to please Justin. [While Justin is in a coma, Brian is at the hospital all night every night, but his friends, who have only gone there during the day, think he hasn’t been at all, and he doesn’t correct their misimpression that he is unfeeling. And all this time, he wears under his shirt the scarf from that night, covered with Justin’s blood]. He gives up his job and money to beat the anti-gay candidate for mayor, Jim Stockwell [yes, he was atoning for working for Stockwell, but he spent every single dime he had and almost had to give up his loft, and the attack ad he ran against Stockwell he ran anonymously], and is willing to give up his loft and nightclub to be with Justin in the final episodes.”

    So a “typical Brian Kinneyesque move” would actually be to do very good and kind things without expecting anybody to thank him for them, without publicizing them, and without being appreciated for them. It seems to me Gale Harold IS pretty Brian Kinneyesque, at that.

  • Joseph

    I had to stop watching QAF after the first season because I loathed the character of Brian so much, and not in that “love to hate” way. He was just a thoroughly unpleasant, unlikable character, and Gale Harold lacked the talent or charisma to make it palatable.

  • Liberty

    Look what Peter Paige had to say:

    Jo Marriott [email protected]

    One QAF actor indicated Harold was not universally loved among the cast “a different actor” might play Brian in any reunion @ThePeterPaige

    5 Jun Peter Paige Peter Paige [email protected]

    @Jo90callingUK Simply not true. Gale is great. And there’s no reunion movie for anyone to be cast in, in the first place.

  • dvlaries

    @ddb: He plans a wedding for Lindsay and Melanie [Melanie hates his guts, remember?] after theirs falls apart, and gives up his parental rights to his young son Gus [whom he loves very much], so that Melanie and Lindsay will reunite in the first season.
    This he certainly did do, though I’m not convinced Melanie genuinely hated Brian. She resented his hidden hand in her relationship with Lindsay, something I think Brian would resent equally himself, had the show depicted he and Justin living together from the beginning, and some personality always on stand-by who could work trouble into their relationship.
    I believe both of these characters are more alike than either could ever be forced to admit. That’s why, back when Mel and Lindsay wanted a second child, I was with those who thought it be a great idea if Mel and Brian were the biological parents, giving Gus half a common bloodline. These two characters, forced by common love of the same child, or really any other cause, to sacrifice their aggressiveness with one another for some greater good, would have made them an unstoppable force.
    He pushes Michael away, [by contriving to do something that will outrage his friend, at great emotional cost to himself], so that [Michael] will [cut the cord and] go back to his boyfriend.
    This was done at Debbie’s insistence, and though all his motives for acting might not have been pure on Brian’s part, ultimately he was correct in his instinct about David and Michael not being right for one another. Michael, to his credit, expressed genuine doubt about being ready to live with David, which his gay uncle took quite seriously, but Vic could never be heard over his foghorn of a sister.
    Debbie, not really caring whether or not her son is truly devoted to David, wants Dr. Chiropractor for “son-in-law,” and demands of Brian to force it to happen. Everything that subsequently went wrong in David and Michael’s ultimately doomed relationship had its root in the lie on which their lived-together lives began. To the end of the show, certainly not David, but not even Michael learned how they were played by Debbie. Brian, doing what was demanded of him, and against his own instincts was, at the last, shown right.
    Then and still, I hold that the character of Michael would have been a much more mature and centered one had he, say about age 20, put a day’s travelling distance between himself and his overbearing mother. Surely, before we came into the story, we missed the opera to end all operas when he announced to her he was moving out of her house.
    He helps his young lover Justin recover after a bashing at his senior prom, which Brian attended to please Justin. [While Justin is in a coma, Brian is at the hospital all night every night, but his friends, who have only gone there during the day, think he hasn’t been at all, and he doesn’t correct their misimpression that he is unfeeling. And all this time, he wears under his shirt the scarf from that night, covered with Justin’s blood].
    For those who charge that the character of “Brian” never grows, this is the area of the story that makes me wonder what show they were watching.
    It is exactly the tough-love approach that Brian applies that brings Justin back to life. Brian will not allow him to give up, feel sorry for himself, not pull his own weight. And Justin, more emotionally vulnerable to Brian than anyone else, has precisely the ‘therapist’ he needs. Something even Justin’s mother is made to reluctantly admit.
    And the baseball bat and its aftermath forced a change in Michael also. With little choice but to witness Brian’s devotion to Justin’s recovery, painful or not, Michael is made to see Justin is much more to Brian than some casual twink trick. In turn, when he comes along, and (admittedly) a more patient character, Ben had significantly surer footing for relationship-building with Michael such as David never had.
    It’s nice to ‘talk show’ with you again, “ddb” :)

  • MJ

    @tAB Hal broke a little old ladies heart?! How exactly? lol

    And how did Hale bring up Gale with these fangirls anyway? ‘BTW Gale’s gay!!!’

    Sounds to me like it’s all rumor and innuendo – how convenient for you that your proof rests in years old showtime boards!

    You sound like another gale fan who can’t exist w/out slagging hal off at every opportunity.

  • MJ

    @tAB And btw Jack wetherall IS gay!

  • Carl 1

    @MJ: Not to mention Randy Harrison, who came out bloody years ago lol

  • tAB

    @MJ: It’s not my fauly Hal was douche bag years ago and that the show has been over for 7 years and Showtime decided to use their server space for more current programming.

    People get Hal confused with Michael all the time so these women were upset at the lies Hal was slinging. No one goes to a show expecting to hear the stuff that Hal was saying. And if you want more proof of the liar Hal is Google fan interview with Cowlip and see how they felt about the interview that has been posted about 5 times above. He is a jealous, spiteful ass that decided to allow a lie filled interview to be released while Gale was in a coma.

    Btw Gale has been in a relationship with a lovely woman named Yara for 5 or 6 years. Since his accident, you know where he almost died. So no Gale is not gay. It’s such a slap in the face to continue to say that he is when it’s fairly clear that Gale is very supportive of gay charities and causes and people insist that he isn’t brave enough to come out.

    Regarding Jack it wasn’t common knowledge at the time that he was gay, and it’s not anyone’s job to force people out of the closet so regardless Hal should have kept his mouth shut.

  • tAB

    @MJ: You think Qaf fans wouldn’t ask Hal labout the rest of the cast if given a change after a show? It’s so far from reality to you that a person would ask about the star of Qaf if given a chance. Personally I think it’s odd that you think it’s strange they’d ask.

  • ddb

    I have no doubt Hal is asked about the other cast members, or that they’re asked about him and each other. But the slanders and negative remarks seem to have come from only one person.

    Dviaries: I don’t think Dr. Dave was meant to be wrong for Michael, that it was foreshadowed, or that Brian knew it. For all I know, they planned to have Chris Potter on for five years. But Potter seems to have been so uncomfortable in his part (though it didn’t read that way), obnoxious in his interviews and (reportedly) on the set that they wrote him out at the end of the first season. The abrupt removal of Dr. Dave, in fact, I consider jarring, and a flaw in the narrative. I think Brian was basically jealous of Dr. Dave (and vice versa, of course).

  • tAB

    @MJ: Also I wanted to love Hal. I loved Vince so freaking much in the UK version and really hoped who they cast would be just as awesome as Craig. Sadly he was not. Regardless of his charity work and activism he is so homophobic. Why was there a need to constantly shout from the stars that he was straight. So much so that he ended up dating porn stars to prove it to the world? Why in every interview does he have to proclaim he is straight. Scott and Gale were able to say they were straight once or twice in the interviews they gave right after QAF started and left it at that.

    I actually liked Hal until I read his interviews, they are so self involved and he suffers from that age old adage that all comic really want to do is make you cry. He did QAF to break away from his comedy and add a dramatic role to his resume. He got upset when the other stars of the show got the same money as he did after season 2 and his relationships with the other cast members, minus Robert and Allen prove that he might not have been the universally loved member of the cast.

    People can say the rumors are just the words of crazy Gale fans but his history both verbal and written tells a very different tale.

  • dvlaries

    What is still to be longed for is a book by a crew- but not cast– member who was there for all five seasons, and observed it all. Someone with no axe to grind, nor need to polish any apples.

  • Bilby

    “Btw Gale has been in a relationship with a lovely woman named Yara for 5 or 6 years. Since his accident, you know where he almost died. So no Gale is not gay. It’s such a slap in the face to continue to say that he is when it’s fairly clear that Gale is very supportive of gay charities and causes and people insist that he isn’t brave enough to come out.”

    I don’t think anyone is saying GH is gay, and he definitely appears to be in a solid hetero relationship now, but that doesn’t mean that he is 100% straight. Bisexuality does exist, you know. A large % of the population are not at the extreme ends of the gay/straight spectrum. It would astound me if GH turned out the be 100% straight. Not that I will ever learn the truth. You don’t know it either.

    For what it is worth, the most common quote I’ve read which supposedly came from Hal was that Gale was “confused about his sexuality”. The source of these quotes is really unreliable, but I don’t recall any idea that Hal had told fans GH was 100% gay.

  • Bilby

    I wish GH/QAF fans would stop using Hal’s “like kissing a dog” quote as evidence that he is a homophobe. He meant that just as he likes his dog, he liked Gale or the actor who played Ben. Kissing them was like kissing his dog. Nothing sexual, but not unpleasant either. In other respects I think Hal is an idiot (his weirdo theories about 9/11 and cancer). I also dislike the way he used to hog the limelight in group interviews. In fact I’m sure that he is doing that right this minute. Some photos have been released from the convention in Cologne:

    Hal seems to be up to his old “look at me” tricks.

  • tAB

    @Bilby: I actually get what he was saying about the dog. Although I think I would have figured out a better way to say it. I just think the arm length he keeps regarding his characters sexuality and his own is rather homophobic. There is just too much need for him to make it clear that he is straight and to even be though of as gay is just really undesirable for him. I honestly don’t get why he took the role in the first place if that is how he felt, and the fact that he did the role should have opened his mind and made the issue non-existent but he still proclaims it every time QAF is brought up.

  • em

    @tAB: Hal made the dog kissing comment early during season 1 so he was not talking about kissing Bobby Gant (Ben) because he was not yet a member of the cast, so it was probably about kissing Chris potter (Dr. Dave) He was asked by a reporter what it was like for him as a straight actor to kiss another man (reporters were obsessed with that question when the show first began) Hal said it was like kissing another species, like “kissing my dog” Not meant to be homophobic but certainly a bad choice of words and probably another of Hal’s attempts to be funny. While I thought he was not a great actor in the first couple seasons, he got better. I never liked Micheal’s character, but I thought Hal and Michael redeemed themselves toward the end of the series when Michael was picked by the gay rights group to represent the “model gay famiily man” and he stood up for his mom and diverse friends from the Liberty Street community when the gay rights group’s leaders pushed Debbie, the drag queens, trannies, leather guys and Babylon hibitues to the back of the room away from the TV cameras. What I truly dislike about Hal is his desire to push himself into the spotlight all the time, talking over his cast mates in interviews and panel discussions and act like an “always on” comedian

  • ddb

    According to one attendee, posting on the Rise n’ Shine Facebook page, Hal hasn’t taken off his coal-black wrap-around sunglasses one single time during the convention thusfar (and Hal posted a picture on his own page of himself on the plane wearing them, and referred to them in the caption– something about sleeping on the plane but nobody could tell). He’s wearing them in the only group picture I saw too. So yeah, he’s doing his look at me thing. Also his rockstar wannabee thing. But more people seem to be interested in how nicely Harris Allan has grown up, and how good he looks in his neatly trimmed little beard. Sunglasses aren’t the weapon they used to be.

  • MJ

    So, no one can actually directly quote what Hal said to some random fangirls years ago, yet it’s become accepted wisdom that he definitely said Gale was confused, just like it’s accepted wisdom that Hal was unhappy that everyone got equal pay? Got it.

    And FYI whether or not gale is dating yara, no one can say with absolute certainty that he’s 100% straight.

    If only a crew member would set the record straight, so to speak.

  • Bilby


    That’s already happened several times in the sense that people claiming to be from the crew have reported on various forums that Gale and Randy were once together. However in reality it could be anything from several different genuine members of the crew saying this to one troll making the claim in multiple places. It means nothing because these claims can never be substantiated. In any case it’s Gale’s business, so it’s fine that we don’t know. What annoys me is those blind fans who categorically state that Gale is 100% straight. It’s really naive to think that way and wreaks of the old fangirl thing: “if he’s straight, I still have a chance with him”.

  • OutMaturity

    I was never a huge fan, but my buddies sure were, they LOVED the show.

    I do know as much as I wasn’t a fan, how important the show was to gay culture. So many topics were broached by QAF, never before aired on TV.

  • annet7573

    @ddb: Wow, love what you said! I recently came across the Queer As Folk episodes on Youtube and can honestly say it is one of the best shows I have seen ever. It is so well written and the entire cast is amazing. Since then I have read several articles that back up your comments about Hal Sparks which is a shame. Anyone on the show should feel appreciative for the mere honor of being cast in such a show. I am a straight female who, after watching the show, has a totally different outlook on people in general. This show had so many good messages and it is so wonderful that I have watched the episodes over and over again. I have not felt that way about any show before. I hope Hal Sparks reads your post and can see how ridiculous he is. To be honest, he is only hurting himself because that is why he is not invited to all the events. From what I can see, Queer As Folk is just as popular as it was when it aired on Showtime. Hal, you might try embracing that instead of trying to kill all the good things the show accomplished.

  • annet7573

    @Richjr42: You are right, they need to move on but as everyone has said and Hal’s interviews have shown, he is the ONLY one who bad mouths the cast. So, the others don’t need to move on, he does. It is Gale’s fans (me included) who get upset and can’t deal with Hal’s open criticism of Gale and Randy. Also, I watched Hal on the Disney show recently and the show is so ridiculous as it is a children’s show, WOW, so impressive. And as far as the rock band thing, seriously? I take it you have not seen him singing or I guess I should say yelling, Hal Sparks is no more a singer than I am and I can’t sing. I also don’t think Gale has been offered the best roles but no matter what he is in, everyone flocks to watch and can’t get enough of him, and rightly so, he is freaking amazing. I know that Gale is one of the best actors of his time and his talent is being wasted. I liked Hal on Queer As Folk and feel every cast member fit the show completely. I would never have a problem with Hal if he would keep his poor comments to himself.

  • annet7573

    @Shannon1981: I am a straight woman and I know that when I was single, everyone screwed all the time, partied all the time and didn’t want to settle down. So as for straight people believing the gay lifestyle is full of promiscuity, partying and not wanting to settle down, that is the pot calling the kettle black. The show was totally honest about what happens in everyday single life whether you are gay or straight. I get so sick of anyone straight thinking that we live differently because we don’t. It’s too bad that some people keep blinders on and want to judge everyone else when they should be looking at themselves.

  • Anne

    @Shannon1981: And let’s be honest – it’s not like the straights are paragons of virtue and 50s perfection (yuck). But because gay is “different” and “not normal,” it’s a lot easier to point a finger at the LGBT society than honestly point that finger at oneself. ::coughSnookicough:: ::retchKardashianretch::

  • reylynn

    Bottom line- Bring back QAF. Original cast. There are so many story lines that could be played out.

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