PictureIt’s official. The L.A. Complex has been cancelled. After just nine short months, the Canadian show that featured the most interesting and addictive-to-watch masculine black gay characters has been laid to rest in both Canada and The United States. Many would argue that the show was put out of its misery as it suffered from extremely low ratings. In fact, the United States debut on the C.W. in April scored the lowest ratings for a broadcast drama premiere since ratings began.

No one watched the show on television. Most Gay people caught up on Kaldrick King’s storyline by watching bootlegged YouTube videos edited down to only the 8-12 minutes that featured his character. If these homosexual fans watched the series on the networks, would that have helped the ratings thus saving the show from cancellation? It’s doubtful…The show’s cast has already moved on. Kaldrick King actor Andra Fuller is now the star of the (100% heterosexual) web series RoomieLoverFriends.
Cypher Avenue was the first Gay website to highlight the show. We began what turned out to be an avalanche of interest in the black gay community to a non-U.S. airing show they would have never even been aware of normally. Our original article and video embed were re-posted on sites like Rod 2.0, MyVidster, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and many personal blogs. This proved to us more than ever that many gay/bisexual men out there were thirsty for something more than Drag Queens and sassy black men wearing heels.


PictureAs many critics agreed, the show was pretty decent. It featured a wide array of three-dimensional characters that really seemed to be struggling with their careers. Except for Kaldick King. He was portrayed as a violent one-note angry black man in the first season and was portrayed as an emasculated head case in the second. As we’ve stated before, the show wasn’t perfect. The gay storyline in the first season featured many stereotypes and the second season falsely asserted that closeted/discreet gay men were suicidal and self-destructive.

However it was still very hard not to watch. Most of the credit goes to Andra Fuller. In addition to his handsome appearance, the actor demonstrated that he was one to watch in the future. His performance as an openly heterosexual actor portraying a closeted Gay character was probably the best that we’ve seen to date. Now that the show is over, it brings up another question…will it be the last?

Most gay films, TV and web series we’ve seen that feature black gay men are what we would consider “Masculine Light.” The characters are either pretty soft or the actors who portray them are feminine guys doing their best to “butch it up.”

PictureI would even go as far as to say that, in the past, Heterosexual actors portrayal of masculine Gay men have been more realistic than those of actual openly gay men themselves. From Will Smith (Six Degree of Separation) to Matthew St. Patrick (Six Feet Under) to Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire), actors that identify as heterosexual seem to be the best at playing “masculine gay.”

However the reality exists that many heterosexual black actors fear taking on gay roles even though there are many that have done it without any negative consequences. Added to that, many (truly) masculine gay/bisexual men fear taking on gay roles because they are closeted, discreet or afraid that the gay role will typecast them for the rest of their career.

So as we mourn the death of Kaldrick King and The LA Complex, are we also mourning the death of masculine gay on widely distributed film and television? There’s always the independent series The D.L. Chronicles but the new episode being produced will be primarily a digital release only, not seen in theaters or on a major network. It’s almost as if the wishes of Cypher Avenue for more Masculine gay male representation in the media were answered in January with the release of The L.A. Complex but in nine short months, the masses determined that they were not interested in that. Bring on more sassy black gay hairdressers/stylists!
I’m holding out hope for the future…Until then, my television set will be unplugged.

– Nick D