Last Tango in Halifax writer: It’s a myth that lesbians always get killed off

Nick Duffy January 23, 2015
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The writer of ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ has defended her decision to kill off a popular lesbian character.

The show dramatically killed off heavily pregnant Kate (Nina Sosanya) in a car crash last week, just after finally marrying partner Caroline.

Some have criticized the trend of killing off lesbians on TV – known mockingly as ‘Dead Lesbian Syndrome’ – where popular lesbian TV couples are denied happy endings.

However, writer Sally Wainwright told DIVA magazine that she thought it was a “myth” that lesbians are always killed off.

She said: “I think that’s a myth! People get killed off all the time.

“I got an email from Russell T Davis the day after saying, ‘I once killed off a gay character [Torchwood’s Ianto Jones] and everyone was really upset’.

“I got an email from another friend saying, ‘Oh Sally, what have you done? There are few enough lesbians as it is!’

“I don’t think people think, ‘I’ve got a lesbian character, I better kill her off’.

“I implore people to see what happens next and see why we did make that decision.

“When you see what happens next, I think we did make the right decision.

“It becomes increasingly emotional, the performances with the people left behind become increasingly magnetic and extraordinary, actually.”

She added: “It was a narrative decision, it was a storyline decision. I was really sad.

“It was a big decision, a huge decision, and one I didn’t really want to make because I didn’t want to lose Nina. I didn’t want to lose the character.

“I actually wrote two versions of episode four – one where she didn’t die.”

“But I am sad, and I’m really aware that I’ve upset a lot of people. I’m terrified I’ve made the wrong decision!”

Related topics: character, dead, death, killing, Last Tango, Last Tango in Halifax, lesbian, Sally Wainwright, wedding, writer

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