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Luke and Noah Kiss, or Lack Thereof, Getting Loads of Attention

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The fan protest over CBS treatment of gay characters Luke and Noah on As the World Turns has been getting loads of attention, since word of the online petition broke in late February.

LukeandnoahMonday night, Showbiz Tonight ran a segment on the protest featuring gay PR man Howard Bragman head-to-head with conservative radio talk show host Ben Ferguson. Listen to their debate AFTER THE JUMP...

The American Family Association has issued an "action alert" against Procter & Gamble, the show's owner and main sponsor.

Said Randy Sharp, AFA's director of special projects: "What Procter & Gamble has done by not having a neutrality policy on any controversial issue [is] they've now put themselves in the middle of this battle between homosexual activists and those who aspire to more traditional family values -- especially on network TV in the public forum."

OUT magazine sent a reporter behind the scenes at As the World Turns to get some answers.

Popnography reports: "Even the show's straight supercouple is calling foul: 'Austin Peck (Brad) and Terri Colombino (Katie) -- whose steamy, straight sex scenes are by far the most racy on the show -- don't mince words when asked about the Nuke cool-down. 'ATWT got scared off because there were two men,' Peck tells Out. Colombino says there's one simple reason her character's sex life won't suffer the same fate: 'I have a vagina.'"

Though actors on the show suggest the producers are building up to a Luke-Noah kiss during the all-important sweeps week. Said the actor: "There's an old saying in soaps -- make them wait. And perhaps that's been their intention all this time. Soaps are dying, and losing audience every day -- and they've been handed a life jacket. We'd be dumb not to put it on."

Check out the clip from Showbiz Tonight, AFTER THE JUMP...

Exclusive @ Out.com: Behind the scenes at ATWT [popnography]
Their soap smooch made history. Fans ask: Will it happen again? [boston globe]

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Fans Protest Bias Against Gay Affection on As the World Turns [tr]

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Comments

  1. The reality is for too many gays “you are damned if you do and damned if you don't."

    It is a soap opera and YES it is refreshing to see "gay characters" on daytime television, but it is a soap opera.

    Let's focus on what can happen on these shows: children get to be adults in 3 years while the old never die; men who rape women marry them; actors fall down elevators only to be told as a dream; where dogs can talk with people; puppets can drive cars; where black men actually have a job.

    Soap operas are a train wreck of drama to begin with why expect them to treat the "gay characters" with any more clarity than other storylines.

    The actors have to be careful not to reveal too much or deny too much. Maybe they do not want to be known only as a "gay character". If the actors were participating in this movement saying that they want to "kiss" more but are being denied that would be completely different. There are many variables that the "public" does not know and are not privy to know.

    It would be one thing if they came out and said that they are not going to kiss; alright time for a protest. However I can not believe that there is a group putting pressure on the time table between kisses.

    Are we going to receive a schedule as so to tune in?

    I am pleased that they are on television. Kissing is not a requirement to "being gay"; while it is a symbol of a loving relationship.

    This is television and again it is more fantasy than not.

    I was more impressed that a real man stood up during the Academy Awards and gave a shout out to his partner. I am more impressed that gay men are on that appear on Bravo and on ABC. The gay community is getting more and more coverage and it is truly refreshing.

    Posted by: Charles | Mar 5, 2008 11:49:04 AM


  2. Soap operas have been dying the last 10 years. This kind of publicity is great for "As the World Turns." It's a no lose situation for the soap. It's ratings are solid. The show is seen as controversial and current.

    The AFA has proven to be toothless. Proctor & Gamble not only is the shows main sponsor, it is also the owner of the show. So, unless ratings drop they aren't going to do anything.

    What's interesting is that on another P&G soap, "Guiding Light," a 15 year old character had an abortion last year sans controversy or horrible consequence (like mental breakdown or sterility as had happened in the past on the "Young & the Restless" and "Days of Our Lives," respectively.

    When is the last time a soap opera had this much publicity in non-soap related media? Decades ago? Other soaps would kill to have this kind of publicity.

    Soaps put character togethers and rip them apart capriciously all the time. Then there's the big reunion that builds up over time when the characters finally make love. The leading couples of "As the World Turns," Holden & Lily and Jack & Carly have been married, separated, divorced, and reunited then split up every other year.


    Also, compare the way "As the World Turns" has handled the gay storyline versus the horrendous and despicable way "Passions" handled it's gay story: long time hetero Chad, who has been deeply in love with his wife (fought like hell to be with her) suddenly hooks up with a guy, who turns out to be his nephew, who also turns out to be a secret hermaphrodite who then seduces his/her father by pretending to be a woman. Oh, yeah, not only is the gay intersexed guy sleeping with his father but he is also sociopathic murderer who is the result of an interracial love affair.

    The whole storyline plays on the worst stereotypes and fears of evil mulattoes and conniving sexual minorities all rolled up in a twisted package.

    Posted by: noah | Mar 5, 2008 11:51:16 AM


  3. Not to lessen the political and societal impact, but I think this is all manufactured outrage or is being encouraged by the show. When the leading actors speak out against the producers, then you know the producers are in on it.

    Nevertheless, there should be more kissing and I look forward to the day when the gay sex scenes are as racy as the straight sex scenes.

    Posted by: Will | Mar 5, 2008 11:52:21 AM


  4. This guy si a typical republican....die GOP die GOP die.

    Posted by: Rex | Mar 5, 2008 12:07:13 PM


  5. Id like to punch that smug repubican.. right is his "future comb over" head..

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Mar 5, 2008 12:12:49 PM


  6. This GOP asshole would be the same person 35-40yrs ago - complaining about an "Inter-racial" cpl kissing..and pushing "Thier Inter-racial" agenda!

    Posted by: JRC | Mar 5, 2008 12:15:08 PM


  7. where black men actually have a job?? what the hell dude!

    Posted by: Julian | Mar 5, 2008 1:02:46 PM


  8. The same old line that we hear over and over from the anti-gay fundamentalist compassion trolls. “We don't mind you loving someone of the same sex, we just don't want you to express your love for each other”. They usually phrase it as "I understand and accept that you may have same-sex attraction and that might possibly even be innate, but that doesn't mean you have to engage in same-sex BEHAVIOR, that’s a sin." And then you get the tired “alcoholism” comparison.

    Someone should have pointed out to the idiot from Memphis that ATWT's rating SKYROCKETED after they introduced the Luke and Noah characters. Their market share increased considerably more than ANY other soap on television today so his claim that people don't want to see it and the network thinks it will kill their ratings is typical rhetoric not supported by facts that the anti-gay fundamentalist love to propagate.

    I also wish the gay supportive commentator would have pointed out the anti-gay man’s use of all the anti-gay buzz words: “lifestyle”; “agenda”, “forced down our throats”, etc. All of which are inaccurate and intended to incite fear, ignorance and hatred of gay people.

    Posted by: Zeke | Mar 5, 2008 3:38:54 PM


  9. Will,
    The outrage is not manufactured or encouraged by the show. As proof, go to:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/LukeVanFan

    It is a youtube site run by a Luke & Noah fan who edits and posts each day's Luke & Noah scenes after they air on As The World Turns.

    Click on any of the videos and read the many comments complaining about "no kissing."

    Posted by: Daveeey | Mar 5, 2008 7:39:21 PM


  10. I thought I'd read years ago that Austin Peck was an evangelical? Is that not true anymore or am I confusing him with another gorgeous soap hunk?

    Posted by: St. Teresa of Avila | Mar 5, 2008 7:53:51 PM


  11. I wonder what the writer's strike had to do with the kiss delay. Production on soaps always runs several weeks ahead of broadcase, so whether fans react badly or not, the next episode is already 3 weeks old by air date. Maybe P&G or on-set producers wanted the story on hiatus until the "real" writers could return to their story & do it justice? P&G has a lot to lose b/c a lot of gay-haters buy soap products & write-in campaigns how they are destroying family values would work...if there were not a counter-balance from fans, like that You Tube poster (mentioned previously).

    Posted by: Daniel | Mar 5, 2008 8:24:42 PM


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