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Bryan Batt's Mad Men Character Fired Because He's Gay


Life imitates art, and so it goes for Bryan Batt, who won't be returning to Mad Men because his character came out of the closet on the job.

Said creator Matthew Weiner to TV Guide: “We don’t murder people on our show, but for there to be any stakes, there have to be consequences. [Losing Bryan] was a tough moment for the show, but that’s where we are. I know how people felt about Bryan. I obviously love working with him, and he has been an indelible character since the pilot. But I felt it was an expression of the times that he couldn’t work there anymore. It’s the ultimate case of sexual harassment.”

Batt apparently has yet to be notified.

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  1. So the other shoe has finally fallen. No wonder Weiner was going on about how gay actors should stay in the closet.


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 27, 2010 9:52:58 AM

  2. So it goes that on this more gay characters "because of the times"?

    I can't believe the creator would suddenly switch gears..something else must be going on. Is there truth to the fact that the creator didn't like Batt personally?

    I diligently watch the show regardless, but you can still create a storyline with the character..he could easily end up with the "new" startup company.

    Posted by: MAK | Jan 27, 2010 9:53:38 AM

  3. This character being fired for coming out makes sense if you're familiar with the series;
    it's true to the storyline, the time period, and the setting.

    It would have been unrealistic to expect anything else at Cooper-Sterling.

    Posted by: Mark | Jan 27, 2010 9:53:54 AM

  4. This is a serious mistake from a viewership POV. One of the most interesting and engaging characters cut entirely waaaay too soon. A dumb, dumb move.

    Posted by: Clay | Jan 27, 2010 9:56:07 AM

  5. I think he was featured more prominently in the third season than in earlier ones, probably because it was the climax of his character's storyline. Now that its passed I don't know what much else his presence would serve, it certainly wouldn't make any sense to have him back just for the sake of it, and it would dilute the impact of his firing in the first place.

    Most gay men didn't get fired and then re-hired. They got fired and left behind, forgotten. For good.

    Although I'll miss him and I think he was a real highlight to the show, I understand why he's gone. Its a real statement and I think its good that the audience will miss him. Because it emphasizes just how wrong what happened to him was.

    I sometimes hope he'll pop up briefly, running into Peggy on the street or something. Maybe even end up working for the competition (Duck? although its unclear if he'll be around at all anymore either). Regardless, he had a good run.

    Hope to see Batt in the future, he's a talented actor.

    Posted by: Wes | Jan 27, 2010 10:01:19 AM

  6. Mark, make that Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price :)

    Posted by: Wes | Jan 27, 2010 10:02:16 AM

  7. btw, I wouldn't assume that this was personal between the creator/actor. This really makes sense considering the storyline.

    The end of season 3 saw radical changes. I suspect many characters will not be seen again, or if they will it won't be much. Paul Kinsey, Ken Cosgrove, Duck Phillips, and lovable fuckup Lois (who should have been fired soooo long ago lol) come to mind. Thats why I can't wait for season 4. I literally have no idea what to expect.

    But the day they cut Joan is the day I stop watching. I don't think they'll ever do that, I never for a second believed she was gone, she's by far the most popular character on the show IMO.

    Posted by: Wes | Jan 27, 2010 10:14:31 AM

  8. Matt Weiner is a closet case if I ever saw one. I see it as a case of 'if I can't be gay, then no one can'. Judging from the press, he sounds like a little tyrant who has daily fairy fits.

    Posted by: bearheim | Jan 27, 2010 10:15:36 AM

  9. Uh --- just because he is FIRED did not mean he had to be written out of the show, this was a hetro-centric choice.

    The characters life would go on --- and it would have been a GREAT oppotunity for interesting story telling.

    It is sick how gay people defend this crap. But then most people are functionally insane anyway - straight or gay.

    Posted by: Walter | Jan 27, 2010 10:21:42 AM

  10. Sal did not come out, he was fired for not putting out, which lost the company a $25million account.

    Posted by: James | Jan 27, 2010 10:24:48 AM

  11. Jesus Christ, folks. The show centers around the ad agency. They aren't suddenly going to run a second story of Sal cruising the parks, divorcing his wife and becoming an old queen. And really read between the lines. It doesn't say he, the actor, was fired. It says, "But I felt it was an expression of the times that he couldn’t work there anymore." Guess what? There is a new agency being formed. Maybe he'll be hired there. Did you all really think that Sal's character was suddenly going to embrace his 'gay' and be out?

    I will ask this though - Why is the little Euro gay allowed to still work there? He's out and not afraid to talk about it.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 27, 2010 10:27:54 AM

  12. The show revolves around Sterling-Cooper, and more specifically Don Draper.

    I'm sorry but Sal was never a main focus in the show. It wouldn't make sense to endlessly follow his character when he has no connections left to the rest of the characters. Then it becomes "Mad Men: The Story of Sal". It loses focus.

    However I don't see where Weiner says he can't be featured at all somewhere. He just said he's fired at Sterling-Cooper. Who knows, he may have him pop up at some point, maybe a couple seasons later and we'll see where he's at (out?).

    The only thing I think is wrong is that they don't seem to be notifying Batt of what their intentions are. Of course, maybe thats because they don't even know if they want to use him again yet.

    I don't think anyone should take it personally. If Weiner was so anti-gay he probably wouldn't have written such a prominent and sympathetic gay storyline into his show.

    Posted by: Wes | Jan 27, 2010 10:28:32 AM

  13. (spoilers)

    Mike, when Don found out Sal was gay, he didn't really care. He said "limit your exposure."

    It was only when Sal refused to f*ck with that nasty closet case from Lucky Strikes that Don got pissed. Because it cost them the account. A BIG account.

    So ironically, Sal got fired for not giving in to a client's gay advances, not for being "too gay".

    I guess the Euro guy didn't pose any such problem but, I don't know if we'll see him anymore either since Sterling-Cooper isn't really Sterling-Cooper anymore and only a handful of characters have been brought over.

    Posted by: Wes | Jan 27, 2010 10:33:15 AM

  14. I really do hope there is another gay presence on the show (Kurt? Is that his name? The German guy?) because one aspect I love about Mad Men is how it comments on various social issues via the lens of the 60s and I'd miss having a gay man on the show to follow that social thread.

    Perhaps they'll write in a new gay character?

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 27, 2010 10:37:02 AM

  15. If you want a realistic portrayal of live in the early 1960s, of course he had to be fired. That's the way it was (and still is in many places).

    Posted by: K in VA | Jan 27, 2010 10:43:59 AM

  16. He was fired from an agency that the bulk of the characters no longer work at. It doesn't mean it can't be involved at the new agency or be a part of the show while working somewhere else. And he wasn't fired for coming out, he was fired because he wouldn't sleep with a closeted client and the client, the agency's biggest, demanded that he be fired. Don't get all worked up, Sal will be back in some capacity next season.

    Posted by: Martin | Jan 27, 2010 11:07:08 AM

  17. ...and he would have been fired from McMann & Tate WAS/and in some cases/states STILL the Times!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jan 27, 2010 11:12:50 AM

  18. Wow Mike --- if you are gay the self hate just came pouring out --- so by being fired you think the only potential story line option is Sal cruising the parks, divorcing his wife and becoming an old queen.

    Sad for you.

    Posted by: Walter | Jan 27, 2010 11:14:23 AM

  19. Somehow in the world of functionally insane there are readers that agree he should have been fired for not putting out on demand for a client.

    Posted by: Walter | Jan 27, 2010 11:16:32 AM

  20. I would really like to see Sal come back at least for one episode to discover what happened to him. They left us hanging with that final scene talking on the pay phone by a cruising park.

    Posted by: sam | Jan 27, 2010 11:17:52 AM

  21. This is one of only a few television shows I watch, and I have to say that it feels like a missed opportunity. Sal's character being fired is truthful, but Don's "limit your exposure" remark was a great way to watch Sal's character struggle with both his sexual awakening and his position within an oppressive corporate structure with the 1960's as a backdrop. The writers might have gotten more mileage out of making Sal's sexual harrassment yet another example of the dangers that gays faced in an era when the could have been refused a drink at a bar for the perception of being gay. Yes, he was a side character, but there seemed to be a lot to explore within his hidden life that sadly won't be capitalized on.

    I do understand the notion that something must be "at stake" in order to create drama, but frankly the tension in Sal's storyline was barely explored, was looking to be very unique, and could have been a wonderful way of showing how far gays have come, and yet just how very far behind they still are...especially when so many still cannot be out at the workplace.

    The real tension will begin next season when we'll see if Weiner comes up with anything compelling to continue to engage this viewer and any others like me who found Sal's storyline especially compelling.

    Posted by: MackMichael | Jan 27, 2010 11:22:45 AM

  22. Weiner is a reall piece of work. He dropped my firned Tim Hunter (who isn't gay) from directing the show after the first two seasons (where he directed several of the best episodes) because he's such a control freak and demanded NO input from anyone else.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 27, 2010 11:27:29 AM

  23. Well, I was curious to watch the show because of this character...>WHY WOULD A WATCH A SHOW ABOUT STR8s IN THE 50's??? I already live in a 2nd class status...SUCKS!

    Anyways, bye bye to ever watching that crap.

    Posted by: Bosie | Jan 27, 2010 11:40:36 AM

  24. What a missed opportunity. The show won't be as rich or as interesting as a result of this cut. Thematically the show is so much about what is hidden beneath the Madison Avenue sheen. As a gay man it would have been nice to continue being represented. It would have been awesome to see how Sal continued to cope with his sexuality within the context of the 60's -- especially with what is going on today.

    Posted by: David C. | Jan 27, 2010 11:41:25 AM

  25. Bring back Ianto!

    Posted by: John | Jan 27, 2010 11:53:47 AM

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