Does he have to be gay?
Many years ago, I was a SR VP of Comedy (I’m now a writer) for a TV studio. We developed a pitch with the most flamboyantly, fabulously gay (male) writer who is quite well-known as a playwright in NY who writes primarily about gay men.
The pitch was basically a true and sweet and funny story about a gay man whose sister and small child come to live with him when her husband abandons her. The main character (the gay man) has just lost his lover to AIDS. I couldn’t believe this particular network - known more for its fat guys w/gorgeous wives than its textured, smart programming - had bought this pitch, but they claimed to loooove it.
However, when we turned the outline in, I had the following conversation with the Network exec:
Network: The main character seems so sad. Why is he so sad?
Me: Well, his lover has just died from AIDS, so he’s sad about that, I think.
Network: Oh no, that can’t be the reason he’s sad.
Me: OK, I can talk to the writer and see if he can kill his lover another way… though I think he likes the AIDS concept because it’s somewhat unique to the gay community.
Network: Well, that’s our other note: does the main character HAVE to be gay?Tweet