Sixty-six-year-old comedian Billy Crystal said yesterday at the Television Critics Association press tour that gay scenes on TV today are "pushing it," The Wrap reports. Crystal elaborated, "Sometimes I think, 'Ah that's too much for me.'"
During a panel discussion about some new FX show he's on, Crystal recalled playing gay character Jodie Dallas on Soap from 1977 to 1981, one of the first recurring gay roles on network TV. He noted this performance was difficult for both him and the audience:
It was very difficult at the time. Jodie was really the first recurring [gay] character on network television and it was a different time, it was 1977. So, yeah, it was awkward. It was tough. ... I did it in front of a live audience and there were times when I would say to Bob [Seagren], "I love you," and the audience would laugh nervously. I wanted to stop the taping and go, "What is your problem?"
Crystal does have hope for the future of gay characters, however: "I hope people don't abuse it and shove it in our face… to the point where it feels like an every day kind of thing."
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