The Death of Kaldrick King (and The L.A. Complex)
It’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.
As 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.”
I 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.
– Nick D
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