Advertisement

TOUR TALK

Washington a `Bionic' no-show

July 18, 2007|Maria Elena Fernandez

Are we allowed to mention how lovely and good-spirited a new TV actress seems? We hope so, because we want to say this about NBC's "Bionic Woman," Michelle Ryan. She thoroughly impressed us during the show's panel to promote what NBC is hoping will be a big hit.

Ryan appeared at the Television Critics' Assn. gathering in Beverly Hills with the show's producers and fellow cast members Miguel Ferrer, Will Yun Lee and Chris Bowers. Katee Sackhoff wasn't there, we were told, because of a scheduling conflict. There was a minor ruffle about that in the Beverly Hilton ballroom because of rumors that the "Battlestar Galactica" actress' deal with "Bionic Woman" isn't set yet. Producers said that was not the case.

But the more significant absence was of another actor: Our thoughts were very much with Isaiah Washington. On Monday, NBC announced that the actor had signed up for a five-episode arc on the sci-fi drama.

Washington, you will recall, has had some troubles lately related to the ugly F-word that's used to describe homosexuals. Of course, this issue came up during the question-and-answer session. A reporter asked whether a white actor who'd used racial epithets would be given the same second chance. Executive producer Jason Smilovic said, "That's a theoretical question." It continued:

Are producers concerned that the gay community might not take this well and boycott the show? "Absolutely not," Smilovic answered. "We embrace the gay community. We hope they are going to watch the show. We are in no way making judgments or statements ... about what was said and done. This is about making great entertainment and a great show, and we found a great actor."

So will he make amends by giving his character an opportunity for a gay kiss? "That would do a lot more than break down the third, fourth and fifth wall of television. We're trying to make a show, and it's got to be contained, and we're not going to deal with anything that's true to our actors' lives."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|