The other day, I was invited to join a Facebook group campaigning for a gay kiss on ABC's breakout hit Modern Family. The group is called "Let Cam & Mitchell kiss on Modern Family!" and it has the following mission statement:
Cam & Mitchell, the adorable gay couple on ABC's Modern Family, have not been shown sharing even a brief kiss throughout the series' first hit season. ABC isn't afraid of gay characters, so why won't they let them show some love?
Until the above snapshot from the "Airport 2010" episode, I hadn't really noticed that Cam & Mitchell are never seen kissing. But this moment made it obvious. Back in March, I wrote a post calling Modern Family's portrayal of gays "the best in pop culture." I may add "one of" before that now, but I still firmly stand by my support of this show. It does a great job at showing very relatable characters dealing with very relatable issues. Stereotypes are neither avoided nor exploited. Rather they are addressed in the spirit of benign humor to great effect. Cam and Mitchell are a great couple to root for and their adopted baby Lily is absolutely adorable!
But this Facebook group certainly does have a point. New York magazine wrote about it on May 9 when the group had about 600 members. A little over a week later, that number has expanded to over 12,000. And our May cover boy Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell on the show, recently tweeted his support for the group.
A gay presence in mainstream pop culture is obviously a good thing, especially when shown in such a nonjudgmental way as on Modern Family. But why don't Cam and Mitchell kiss? Could that just be the nature of their relationship? Or is ABC revealing a certain latent homophobia in its treatment of these characters? The network included a gay kiss in a mid-March episode of Ugly Betty, so it doesn't appear that homophobia is the full story. But what is it?
What could one little kiss do? Please post your thoughts. And tune in to the Modern Family season finale this Wednesday at 9 pm on ABC.
-- ANDREW WAILES
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