Just as Grey's Anatomy was finally getting a little interesting, the show's execs have decided to ax it's most revitalizing plotline: the lesbian relationship between Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith). Luckily, Sara's character gets to stick around for at least the rest of the season, but Brooke is set to ride off into the sunset.
EW.com reports that Brooke got the news in the most un-ceremonious way possible. She says, "I found out in mid-September soon after shooting the monologue that aired last week where Erica has the revelation that she's gay. They even came down and told me it was a great scene—one of the best they ever shot on the show. So I was really, really shocked. I was floored when they told me [I was being let go]."
Brooke hardly had a chance to say good-bye to her castmates before being ushered off the show's set. She reveals that her on-screen lover Sara had the strongest reaction to her departure. "She was shocked," says Brooke. "I'm the one who told her. It took her a few days to get back to me because she was surprised. It was surprising to everybody."
Although Brooke contends that network nervousness over a lesbian relationship in primetime was the reason for her layoff, Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes tells a different story. She issued the following statement defending her decision:
"Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian. Clearly it's not an issue as we have a lesbian character on the show—Callie Torres. Sara Ramirez is an incredible comedic and dramatic actress and we wanted to be able to play up her magic. Unfortunately, we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke's character would sustain in the long run. The impact of the Callie/Erica relationship will be felt and played out in a story for Callie. I believe it belittles the relationship to simply replace Erica with 'another lesbian.' If you'll remember, Cristina mourned the loss of Burke for a full season."
Hmm, as much as we'd like to believe that putting a gay couple on network TV would be no big deal in 2008, we're can't help but wonder if the death of "Callico" had more to do with the relationship heating up (Callie and Erica have recently made several references to traveling "south of the border"), rather than cooling down.
Grey's fans, tell us what you think!