Dancing with the Stars toyed with the idea of casting a same-sex pair for its 12th season: producers put out an offer to Portia de Rossi whom they planned to pair with a female dancer. Portia officially declined the offer and ABC swiftly backed out of the plan, apparently believing Portia was, according to an inside source, “the only star that could have pulled this off without completely offending the program’s conservative viewers.”
It’s a weird line ABC’s walking by offering judgement on the palatability of certain expressions of homosexuality. Implicit in their decision to offer Portia the role is the idea that two female dancers would go over better than two male dancers, and also that a sterile, pretty blonde is a non-threat to viewers. It’s also interesting that producers have decided that an out lesbian (one in a committed marriage at that) is the only possible choice for same-sex pairing. Would Portia’s dance partner have to be a lesbian as well? We dance with our female friends at parties all the time and would certainly have no problem doing it on TV!
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