Earlier this month, the WWE’s Stephanie McMahon claimed the promotion was working in conjunction with GLAAD to develop LGBT characters for future storylines. Recalling the company’s less than sophisticated efforts with Adrian Adonis, Golddust and Billy & Chuck, former WWE writer Kevin Eck insists he had a plan for the openly gay Darren Young (above) that was rejected by his superiors. From Pressbox Online.com :
My idea was to have Zeb Colter cut a promo denouncing Young’s lifestyle, which would ignite a feud between The Real Americans and Young and his tag team partner, Titus O’Neil. Young and O’Neil were a couple of heels known as The Prime Time Players, but they would be portrayed as babyfaces for standing up to the homophobic bullies.
The story practically wrote itself. My thought was that once the program between The Real Americans and Young and O’Neil was finished (with Young and O’Neil prevailing), Young’s sexual orientation didn’t need to be a major issue going forward.
Rather than being a gay wrestler, Young would be a wrestler who happened to be gay. He wasn’t going to suddenly become more flamboyant or effeminate. It would show how far the wrestling business had come in its portrayal of gay characters, and Young would be a positive role model for the LGBT community.
Unfortunately, my pitch was immediately shot down. It was made clear that the main reason for not doing the angle was the belief a significant portion of the WWE audience would be turned off by the subject matter.
I know the long-held stereotype about wrestling fans being low-brow still exists, but I think the overwhelming majority of the WWE audience is better than that, so why cater to the ignorant minority?