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The Meaning of a Kiss

November 22, 1998

I totally disagree with Scott Seomin's condemnation of Will Smith's refusal to shoot an on-screen kiss with co-star Anthony Michael Hall in "Six Degrees of Separation" (Letters, Nov. 15). Mr. Seomin charges that Smith's decision "sent out a dangerous message . . . that physical affection between two men is unacceptable, wrong and must be avoided at all costs." In addition, he claims that "this irresponsible decision promoted homophobia and intolerance." Finally, he judges Smith's decision as "very much a bad career move." Wow. All that damage as a result of an actor refusing to shoot an on-screen kiss with another actor of the same sex? I don't think so.

Will Smith was merely refusing to participate in a scene he did not feel comfortable with; his reason is nobody's business. I saw "Six Degrees," and it's obvious that Smith's decision did not compromise the integrity of the film. Nor did his decision compromise his integrity as an actor.

As for Mr. Seomin, it seems clear that he is using this issue as an excuse to promote his own agenda as a crusader against gay and lesbian defamation. Next time, he should pick a target that is worthy of his cause, our attention, and L.A. Times newsprint.

JEFFREY DEUTSCH

Huntington Beach

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