And George Michael is a pillar of community whose behaviour has influenced gay society positively… ? Soooo hypocrytical its unbelieveable. I dont particularly like the Eastenders storyline but really dont think Mr Michael is the one who should be shouting about it the loudest do you?
He is one of the most interesting figures out there.
There was a news story where he said he has sex with lots of men and later explained his motives. Something along the lines of dispelling the myth that all gay men want to be in monogamous relationships. That the premise is that the lgbtqi comm. want what is on offer.
How is he hypocritical?
By making every gay man look like some dirty perv that hangs around in public toilets?
Only a complete moron would think that George Michael is representative of all gay men.
Only a truly pathetic gay man would think that George Michael has any responsibility to represent gay men.
Seriously – get a grip.
George Michael is a middle aged singer, whose audience is also middle aged.
He owes the gay community nothing. He is a singer – not a public representative.
Spanner thinks that all gay men are the same. He probablly thinks the same way about women. muslims, black people, asian people, bus drivers etc
!James: Yes, well you just live up to being a sad little stereotype of a fag, so I would check the one about stones and glass houses.
You fit the stereotype of a self hating bitter queen
I don’t hate myself at all. Just whinging little cnuts like you.
Are you pursing your lips with disapproval from behind your net curtains in your bungalow in Tunbridge Wells, Jon?
Are you actually suggesting that George Michael not be allowed to express an opinion because he has had drug problems?
I agree. However, there are very few bungalows in Tunbridge Wells.
Well it is a bit like asking O.J. Simpson his opinion on African American human rights…
What a crock of sh!t !
George is a great person to be talking about it – given his own media profile he has a voice which few other LGBT people have.
Good to see him using it so responsibly.
Strangely i watched Eastenders last night. The first time since i watched it as a kid (i remember the Cindy days). I cringed. The gay cariacture was so uncomfortable.
The writers are terrible the entire scenes was built up on one of the guys saying Bi now Gay later. YUCK
Biphobia is a real thing, within the gay community and elsewhere. It wouldn’t make sense to have a bi character that didn’t have to deal with it.
Syed is not bi.
He identifies as gay.
Or are you suggesting that he is simply ‘confused’?
I cant believe you got voted down.
1) George Michael is a disgusting excuse for a gay role model.
2) Eastenders is not realistic as some people would like to believe
Clearly some people think doing drugs and having sex with random people in toilets makes him a good rolemodel.
I can only assume i got voted down by other gays who actually do those two.
So George Michael wants an airbrushed image of queer sexuality that reflects his privileged experienced.
Yes and George Michael has been a wonderful gay role model hasn’t he! Except of course for the sleazy public sex, dangerous driving and illit drug use..!
And the fact he stayed in the closet for years throughout his Wham! years.
So even though he has been out of the closet for nigh on 15 years, he must still be condemned for the timing of his coming out.
What a spiteful, judgemental position to take.
Well he was outed when he was caught shagging a stranger next to a urinal. Forgive me for not thinking this sleazy tramp is the ideal spokesperson for our commuity.
I think George Michael is a great! hes enjoyed his life and success, he makes sense if you listen to him, I agree with what he said about Eastenders (not that I watch such dramarama!) and he still amazingly creative.. lay off him. Good on you George for making sense and speaking your truth..
Aiden is right, Geoerge Micael id privilages selfish, self-centred, IGNORANT, greedy, never bothering about other gays……a….a….a….ur…man. O think his behaviour in his life shows pretty clearly just how much weight his opinion should be given.
Those characters were too to be true i knew they were going to come up something native about been gay… when it black they always get it wrong and when its gay must end wrong thats… by the way they just showing us how that they think about us through the silver screen.
…….What exactly is hypocritical about George Michael’s comment?
I find it accurate and timely. The whole Eastenders gay story line is a disgrace and dare I say homophobic in a “look at how these people behave” sort of way. As someone else said it is cringe worthy in the extreme. Are there no gay advisers on this joke of a story line. As for your comment,, what gives you the right to be so judgmental about anyone. He who is without blemish throw the first stone, eh Jon?
Well you are hardly slow on the uptake to throw your opinion at everyone on these boards.
The difference is, people actually sill listen to George Michael.
….haven’t they found you a place in the home yet, you bitter twisted old relic…….
“The difference is, people actually sill listen to George Michael.”…as opposed to what exactly?
I agree with George Michael on this.
Christian and Syed’s relationship has been a complete and utter disaster since it began.
1. Syed is a married, muslim closet case with a pregnant wife
2. When he comes out his family disown him
3. Christian gets repeatedly beaten up by Syed’s family (or their friends)
4. Nonetheless Syed behaves like a spineless wimp and seeks their approval
5. A confused gay teen (with a psycho father) comes to Christian for advice.
6. Christian is accused of being a nonce.
7. And beaten up again
8. Meanwhile the spineless Syed (who identfies as gay, and does not identify as bi) is contemplating moving back in with his ex-wife, to keep his violently homophobic family happy.
Depressing and grim on every level and has been from day 1.
Christian was quite an unusual character when he joined Eastenders, in that he was out, proud and happy(despite the actor being quite limited.
He has been beaten up for being gay (or a nonce) 3 times in the last 2 years.
And I forgot to mention Syed’s suicide attempt.
I prefer that this is shown rather than yet another picture perfect gay romance in which they become the perfect couple.
The fact is that this still happens to people to this day, people are still victims of homophobic violence, are still called paedophiles, and there are still gay men who choose to live with a woman to please other people despite what they want. If they wanted to be realistic about it they’d have Syed living with his wife spending his evenings on grindr or gaydar and sneaking out to have sex with anyone who will touch them.
The story has progressed naturally, it speaks more about the people committing the violence than the characters themselves and as long as they triumph in the end I think it will be a positive message.
Gay life is NOT relentlessly grim and depressing like Christian and Syed’s life. The portrayal of Christian and Syed’s relationship has been massively unrealistic and depressing.
Yes there are family rejections and closet cases etc. And yes there are homophobic assaults (although 3 of them in 2 years for 1 character is really stretching it. Although I suppose they spiced it up last night by making the assault connecting to the gay character being accused of being a nonce). But there is also good times.Have Christian and Syed ever had a storylinie which did not revolve around the unrelenting horror of being gay?
That is completely unrealistic.
@paddy but when did he decide to become spokesperson for the Lgbt community ? His behaviour both in terms of projecting unsafe sexual activity and drug abuse should be revered because? After numerous criminal acts and aelf abuse does this mean we should respect and uphold him as someone who takes the moral hign ground where gay issues are concerned ? Is he reflective of the majority of the gay community. Certainly not in my community
George Michael is merely expressing an opinion about a TV show.
You sound like a Daily Mail reader in your comment.
@dAVID: Yes, and Jon is expressing his. How come some celeb with a dodgy past is allowed to preach this crap whereas somebody like Jon who is actually trying to prevent this stereotype gets marked down by a bunch of hissy-fit queens who thinks the sun shines out of their virgin anus?
PS @Jon: There is no gay community, so quit trying to defend something will never exist due to the constant in-fighting and selfish bickering.
For goodness’ sake, he was expressing an opinion on Twitter, not making a statement as some sort of community leader. (And in any event, what ‘LGBT community’ would that be?)
I am also fed up with the Eastenders storyline. It is portaying gay people in a bad way. Can’t we ever have a happy gay couple on tv?
There’s no such thing as a happy couple on a soap opera.
I’d settle for a gay couple, whose defining characteristic isn’t the unending ordeal of being gay.
Well, I don’t watch Eastenders, but it does seem that this sort of exaggerated unpleasantness is par for the course on the show. Everyone on there seems to get an unrealistic and depressingly bad run of things, played for maximum melodramatic misery. Which I suppose is fine if you like that sort of thing.
The problem only comes if a) they are dealing with sensitive issues like homophobia and b) the show really does have a significant impact on people’s, especially children’s, views of the world (I’m not sure it does, because I doubt that anyone sees it as a realistic portrayal of life in any way, but I could be wrong). In such a case perhaps it is irresponsible to treat these issues with the show’s usual steamroller-run of decadently overblown negativity.
But yes, we do need more unremarkable and well-adjusted gay people on television, whose character and experiences are not primarily defined by being gay. That’s how progress towards normalisation and acceptance will be made.
I wish that EastEnders would stop trying to hard to make the sexuality of gay characters an “issue” that needs to be constantly explored, justified and problematised. It’s so “Film of the Week” and ends up being patronising. I’d like more stories where gay people are shown to have nice things happen to them, or just stories which have nothing to do with their sexuality.
George Michael’s opinion is as valid as anyone’s. So let’s stop being such Judge Judys about him.
Ben is portrayed as an obnoxious person. What makes this worse is that there are no other gay kids in BBC dramas. Even Leonardo da Vinci is portrayed as straight in the CBBC series which is about to be repeated.
The character’s story progressed naturally, the problem isn’t that they’re being beset upon by all this adversity but that people are being so thick headed and short sighted to only see two characters having a hard time rather than every character involved and the unfolding web of all their stories.
totally agree with george. Aaron and Jackson , on Emmerdale would have been great to introduce a postive young gay couple in to the soap. But oh no one of them had to be killed off, and I bet your bottom dollar Aaron ends up with a girlfriend. Most of the soaps, if not all portray gay people in a very bad light.
And let’s not even get started on Coronation Street…
This is symptomatic of the way in which television and the media present a distorted image of our culture, often insidiously fueling and aggravating predjudices and discordance.
I recommend the book “Remotely controlled” by Dr Aric Sigman to anyone who wants to understand how television distorts our perceptions and the harm it causes.
Before reading what Aric Sigman has to say check out this:-
He has got a point, but on the other hand it is a soap opera and all characters are treated the same!
Okay, I watched some episidoes of the Syed & Christian storyline on Youtube.
Is this art imitating life?
I mean is this a realistic situation?
I can understand the relevence of it because I actually KNOW far more dramatic and tragic real life situations like this one here in the Caribbean but is this realistic for England and London in particular?
In fairness I think very little of EastEnders could be considered realistic on any level.
I know five gay Muslim men, and only one is out – and that is only to his own immediate (and very disapproving) family. It must be wonderful for George Michael up there, living on Planet Hash.
Are you deliberately missing the point?
Eastenders were quite experimental by having a gay muslim character come out to his family.
However since he has come out, Syed’s life (and by extension Christian’s life) has been unending ordeal of grief, assault, suicide attempts, accusations of noncery.
It is unremittingly grim, horrific and abusive.
And quite simply that is not in any way realistic – even for muslim gay people.
I too know several muslim gay people who are out to their disapproving families. However their families have been told to put up or shut up. And in general they do.
Yeah right. And I have seen many gay, or more often “bisexual” Muslim men that have been forced into marriages. So go ahead and tell them to put up, and you will be completely excommunicated from not only your family but your entire community.
Many Asian brides have actually been murdered due to them going against their families wishes, so I really don’t think they will take a gay person any better.
George Michael talks utter rot. Just remember there are as many gay Muslims as gay whites, so how come we hardly ever see them? Incidentally, they tend to refer to themselves as bi simply so should they get caught they can run back to their wives and dispel it with it being “just a phase”.
Maybe the reason you hardly see any is because of the racism and prejudice they encounter from people like you
Please state one iota of proof on that, you sh|t-stirring little cnut.
My first BF for nearly 2 years was both Indian AND Jewish, and I happened to live in one of the largest Asian areas in Europe with two gay bars, and to see any Southern Asian or Arab people in either was very rare.
Because you utter moron, the muslim population of Britain is 5%; the non muslim population is 95%,
No David, they do not. Very few Muslims will sit back and give their blessing to a situation like that depicted in EastEnders, especially when there is a child involved. You accuse me of missing the point, but I think you have missed the whole issue. It is my hope, however, that the “unremittingly grim” story in EastEnders will force some in my community to take a long, hard look at themselves, and their “traditions”.
What would actually be quite revolutionary for television or movies would be a gay character/s whose main storyline and point of interest is totally unrelated to their sexuality.
Like a gay cop or British Intelligence Agent who audiences love for his/her brilliance, kick-ass moves and nail-biting intrigue as they solve complex cases etc. WITH a little hot sex and gay romance thrown in as a side-note.
Now that would be refreshing.
Stephen Moffat has so far managed this quite well in Doctor Who. Not with any main characters, but there was Canton Delaware in The Impossible Astronaut (whose sexuality was only revealed as an aside), as well as a pair of gay extras and Madame Vastra & Jenny in A Good Man Goes to War, whose relationship was strongly hinted but never confirmed simply because it had nothing to do with the plot.
Do gay and lesbian screenwriters ever submit show ideas to producers like this and it just gets shot down or something?
Sometimes I wonder if certain heterosexual characters weren’t originally written to be gay and the producers made them change it.
It is hard for gay men in the muslim community to deal with there sexuality, why should we lie and say it isn’t I have spoken to alot of muslim gay men and most of them say the same thing, their family would disown them if they came out.
If that is how it is why should we write about a happy gay couple, it might be nice if they had a happy gay couple as well to show both sides but saying as one of the gay characters is a muslim I think it fitting with his character that his family act the way they act.
We cannot lie and say it’s easy for everyone, same as we can’t lie and say the world is still full of people who hate us.
Our equality is in a state of progress not perfection!!
Since when does soap operas portray reality? They should enforce desired reality on peoples minds. They should be encouraging not scary. It is all just bollocks what they show on TV. Scare mongers. I don’t know many murderers and serial killers in our street.
The people posting on this thread don’t understand what it means to be a gay MAN OF COLOUR. Yes, in the lily white gay world people can be OUT AND PROUD. Well guess what, if a person is Asian or Black it is so much harder to come out. The BBC storyline is a good one it shows the tensions Syed a gay Muslim man experiences. It is SO EASY for white gay people such as George Michael to say it is EASY to come out. Well, for gay men of colour such as Syed they have A LOT TO LOSE! And when I mean lose, I don’t mean just family, I mean a space in the community. See, white gay people can go to Soho or some other gay district. At least BBC Eastenders show examines the RACISM gay men of colour experience. Syed’s confusion, his pain, his feelings are actually I think dealt kind of realistically. Being gay and Muslim is NOT easy people. Not everyone who is gay is white and can easily come out of the closet.
I also want to add, I think showing the public the issue of family honour and Syed’s homophobic mother Zainab is important. To be in the west is still viewed too often from a Eurocentric lens. Finally, on Eastenders we have a gay man of colour Syed trying to live his life on his own terms. But Syed knows there is so much to lose. I think Syed could be shown to be a bit stronger. But being gay and Muslim is hard people it is not easy. Some families won’t just reject the gay child the gay child could be risking a lot coming out. And I think the BBC has done a good job.
If these commentators are really gay its bad news that George Michael is being treated with such contempt. He’s no saint or role model and sometimes I wish he’d behave. But he is entitled to an opinion like all of us and his past has no bearing on who he is today. Let he is without sin bitches
Let he whom is with sin keep his fkcing trap shut.
It is George’s opinion and I agree with him. His past is his own business. There are a lot good role models out there. Concentrate on them. I prefer to think good thought. Regardless of George’s life style I think he has a right to voice his thought. Not many of us do. At least not publicly.
The storyline used to be so good but ever since Bryan Kirkwood took over things have gone to the dogs. The characters are shells of their former selves, the love and warmth and personality has gone and has been reduced to one-dimensional caricatures for the sake of draaaaama. I stopped watching the Chryed story ages ago because they weren’t the characters I knew anymore. Disappointing and insulting. I agree with George.
And all this frop om some one who only came out because he was arrested in a cottage, or as they used to be called in the States, a ‘Tea-Room.’
Oops, I ment to say ‘And all this from some one’ etc
Get over it.
That was 15 (?) years ago.
Did you never get involved in an embarrassing incident?
Nope. We aren’t all a bunch of perverts. No wonder TV shows us in a bad light when we only have gay role models like him to represent us.
So we mustn’t see people who are getting the rough end of the stick then? Michaels attitude is selfish, greedy, self centred, inconsiderat, dissmissive of other need to have their suffering shown. This comment stinks.
Here is something else scaring children and families, http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111111/fort-hood-shooting-families-sue-us-army-750-million. the connection is that terrorist psychiatrist and Fascist Christians are working together like Terrorist to destroy LGBT people using psyops, http://www.realvail.com/blog/1124/Psy-oops-Big-oil-caught-using-military-psychological-operations-tactics-in-US, because they can, think about it, connect the dots kids.
There is nothing true about soap operas they play on everything for ratings and don’t care who they step on for views. Not to mention it comes from the BBC!
At least you can trust George not to mince his words.
This is the last time i am watching Eastenders. I am also not happy about the way Eastenders portrays gays.
Shame on Eastenders. George Michael is right in what he says.
Be grateful that you have gay story lines to watch in the UK! Being in Canada, the north American viewer rarely if at all gets to see any gay story lines unless they are on YouTube.
I have to agree that currently the story lines on British soaps although well intended seem to be hyping bad representation of poor examples of what could be written to be positive viewing. Until recently such was the case in many established gay European story lines.
The most troubling one at the moment is the Ben accusations. Poorly conceived for ratings and unsympathetic for “Both” real victims and those falsely accused and the idea it gives to others.
The story needs to be played out so that Ben learns consequences from authority and the legal implications of false accusations. If the writers sow seeds of thought for viewers they need to follow through by indicating the injustice caused the accused when accusations are false or vindictively made. Shame on East-Enders for missing the opportunity!
This got me curious so I did a little research, now I have no idea how important these people are in the shows they are on or what their storylines are and if they are in canada but there is a lot more than I was led to believe from you post. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dramatic_television_series_with_LGBT_characters
Sorry as I said done out of pure curiosity and this was only from drama’s
It is not quite how it looks! This is Canada most of the shows on the list are American and almost all the networks listed are American. Some shows from these networks air in Canada others do not, others on the list are subscription channels which people don’t purchase. Whether feature roles or prominent characters in a drama or mini series, there are not many recurring or regular featured characters, or couples as in British or European soaps. Yet others such as Will and Grace, or Brothers and Sisters have ended or cancelled.
In other shows gay characters are either parodied or straight acting so as not to be controversial.
One example of a recent gay story line in 90210 Teddy, (weeks between appearances and minimal time on screen) was billed as major story line which in total hasn’t amounted to anything.
2010/2011 I gave up regular TV for lack of good content and like like many in North America turned to YouTube blogs for regular viewing or quality gay content on shows.
Well at least I was honest and said I did not know the relevance of characters in the programs (except the ones i watch) and if they extended to Canada, wish they would bring back will and grace, will was always soooo damn hot, fairly straight acting with occasional burst of feminism shining through lol
George Michael is correct in that the examples on East-Enders (and othert shows) don’t accurately represent the actual happy daily lives that many in the gay community enjoy.
With the “It gets better campaign” and many other organizations promoting positive role model images, and brighter futures, it is sad to see such negative, unhappy or troubled relationships playing out on the most watched media available in the homes of most families.
Surely we can enlighten and inspire by positive images in the TV medium rather than others which provoke anger and outrage… those situations are best left for news and appropriate media.
Again, Steve_R the it gets better campaign is from a Eurocentric middle class perspective. Sure, for white gay middle class people maybe it does get better. But what if a gay man is of colour? What then? For some gay men of colour they come out and experience the violence of racism in the gay community. The gay men of colour also experience violence from their own communities. The BBC has done a good job showing the complexity of what it means for Syed to be a gay man of colour. Not all gay people have it easy especially non white gay people who have to deal with so much more than white homosexuals.
I watched Eastenders tonight.
I’m out, proud and happy.
But I’m on Amira’s side.
Does that mean I’m a homophobe?
George Michael is right.
The usual soap tactics of putting a character on and having everything happen to just one or two characters that in real life happens to one or two people in a whole community has indeed made the plot line homophobic.
Time for more gay characters if the soap wants to explore these different issues.
Eastenders is all about drama and shock, it is almost the “Keith I am so sad” or the Daily Wail, trying to use controversial and sad rhetoric to keeps its viewers. I do not watch it but I imagine this is a build up to a shocking conclusion for the christmas special or one of the so called climaxes.
I agree that this sort of thing is not the normal life of a gay man (well from my personal experience) but it does happen but is rather bad that most if not all their stories revolve around such negativity towards gays and gay lives. why is there not a character that is ohh I am gay, ohh ok life goes on (bit like the new dude in Warehouse 13 lol)
I put this on a fairly inactive thread, oops
“Sorry totally off topic here but I have enjoyed our discussions on here with the few exceptions, can anyone recommend a gay forum or two that has interesting discussions as I have had on here?
When is television going to portray us in a more positive role. Gay roles always seem to be negative, unfulfilling and meaningless.
No wonder that society looks at us with the same attitude.
Must put a stop to this negative portrayal of us, now and address us as members of society and the world
EastEnders is a depressing soap and not worth the time. If it ever had a single character with a happy storyline I think people would be shocked to the core. While I agree with comments made about the depiction of gay people, did you honestly expect anything else from this sad excuse for “real East End” life?
The fact is, and unlike any other minority, gay people have to appear as stereotypes and/or only have GAY STORY LINES. Its all a little boring really.
Couldn’t gay people get normal story lines too like being poor, jobless ect ? and then just occasionally have gay focused parts like real gay people . Its all so focused on them breaking boundaries rather than portraying normality in anyway, even if normality a little dull for the screen its good now and again.
last year the BBC commissioned a report into portrayal of gays in the media..using their own LGB staff network! I suggested they might be biased toward the metropolitan experience..however if this pathetic sensationalist story line is anything to go by, Ill stick to rural backwoods south lincolnshire, and instead read the Gay Times article by my local( gay) MP Nick Boles…
Why do people focus on other peoples past mistakes, our mistakes are a part of who we are and I would rather trust a person who has made mistakes and learned from them than someone who claims to be mistake free.
Their are now two threads of comments that seem to focus on what was and not what is, it is truly a shame that people can not see and recognise the importance of mistakes for reaching maturity (or enlightenment to put a Buddhist twist on it).
In the march to equality, tv will now portray gay relationships as extreme caricatures as compared to reality – just like str8 ones have been. Not saying it’s a good thing, just the reality.
I fully agree with George Micheal. Serious changes must be made to the programme.
With all the murders, beatings, domestics, drug abuse, crime and everything that goes on in Albert Square, if it happened on that scale in a real East End borough then United Nations intervention will be called for. While Eastenders does deal with social issues it also exaggerates the scale of them in the name of entertainment. Furthermore Eastenders is not suitable entertainment for young children.
I truly think that they should stick a police headquarters right in albert street maybe they would not have so much trouble lol
Strictly from a dramatic point of view, I think that would count as a “Deus ex Machina” ending… scriptwriters are always warned against bringing in third parties at convenient moments in the plot to sort out protagonist’s problems. In drama it doesn’t satisfy the audience as it looks way too flukey.
In real life that would be a valid response however. That or a frying pan to the back of Phil Mitchell’s head.
Enders is awful and has been for a long time from my occasional viewing of it. I can’t bring myself to watch it- so far fetched and depressing. I caught the episode in which Christian was beaten up and they really made him look patheitc and incapable of defending himself – he’s a big guy and i’m sure would pack a punch but no, they had him grovelling on the street in tears. It reinforced the idea of gay men as perpetual victims barely able to knock the skin off a rice pudding. All the characters are cartoons. Doesnt even pay lip service to reality.
Couldn’t agree more… what’s the point of spending all those hours in the gym if the moment a homophobic thug bursts through your front door uninvited you just put your hands up and say “don’t hurt me”! I’d be looking for the nearest blunt instrument.