Posted by: da_nibbler | August 15, 2009

‘SGU’ Creators Apologize

Just a few hours after I posted about the controversial body-swapping/rape episode Stargate Universe creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper posted a statement on the Gateworld forum, responding to the complaints, blogposts and Twitter outrage resulting from the leaked casting sides.

Recently, a casting breakdown was released to agents for a upcoming character in our television show, Stargate Universe. The character, Doctor Eleanor Perry, is a brilliant scientist at the top of her field, who also happens to be a quadriplegic. As part of a science fiction conceit that is core to our series, Perry’s consciousness is temporarily exchanged with one our series main characters, Camile Wray, who is a lesbian. In the course of the story, Perry has the experience of being able bodied for the first time since she was a child. At the same time, Wray, temporarily encumbered by Perry’s physical disability, experiences the unconditional love of her life partner. The language of the breakdown was insensitive and inaccurate, and we sincerely apologize to those who may have been offended. The audition pages that have been under scrutiny were from an early draft and released out of context. It is our desire and intention to portray both characters with dignity and respect, while remaining mindful of the ethical issues we’re raising.

Smart move on the creators’ part to immediately apologize and address the issue. Interesting fact that in addition to seeing Eleanor in Camile’s body, we’ll see Camile interacting with her partner Sharon as a paraplegic in Eleanor’s body. That, like most of the episode, was not in the casting sides. Which prompts me again to shelf my verdict of how this is handled until I have seen the complete episode on air. Lots of stuff can be taken out of context. I am glad that Brad Wright and Robert Cooper acknowledged the founded outrage and apologized for the language used in the casting sides.

In a follow-up interview by the editor of LGBT site AfterEllen with an MGM spokesperson it is said that the body-swapping is a central theme of Stargate Universe and seems to happen on a regular basis. The moral dilemma of this will be addressed throughout the show.

Hopefully the outcry by the LGBT community will be unfounded as soon as the episode airs. Given the track record of the previous two Stargate series I wouldn’t hold my breath for this being dealt with in a sensitive manner. But then again the possibility is always there. Let’s just hope everyone thought of birth control, especially considering our resident lesbian doesn’t usually have to concern herself with that.

Stargate Universe starts airing on SyFy October 2, 2009.

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Responses

  1. I must correct you on one fact sir. “Interesting fact that in addition to seeing Eleanor in Camile’s body, we’ll see Camile interacting with her partner Sharon as a paraplegic in Eleanor’s body.” The write up said that she was a Quadriplegic. The difference being that a Quadriplegic has little to no use of any of their limbs whereas a Paraplegic has use of two of the four limbs. I am a Paraplegic who was born with Spina Bifida and have been paralyzed from the waist down all of my life.


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