Grey’s Anatomy Controversy: Is Callie and Arizona’s Relationship Desexualized?
Grey's Anatomy undeniably does a better job with LGBTQ representation than many network shows. It's not only uncommon for patients of the week to be queer, but the ABC series currently has two major gay characters — Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) — whose relationship has been championed by many fans.
However, just because the show works hard to provide a diverse cast — sexually and otherwise — doesn't mean it's above criticism.
One issue that's bothered some Calzona fans for ages is the way these sexy ladies have been portrayed in the bedroom. Downplaying gay characters' sexuality is a common, not to mention problematic, way to make gay romances more "acceptable" for network audiences, and many fans argue that Grey's does just that. While straight couples are regularly shown getting very hot and heavy, on-camera Calzona sex scenes are often kept on the sweeter, chaster side of things.
Fan frustration has been exacerbated during Season 9, as Arizona's injury has kept the couple's sex life practically nonexistent. Shonda Rhimes promised that we'd see Calzona get sexy and fun again before Valentine's day, but that didn't play out in the way fans were hoping. Calzona have had some lighter moments (especially in Episode 10: "Things We Said Today"), but they've yet to really rekindle the fire, at least as far as we've been shown. After Season 9, Episode 15: "Hard Bargain" — which, far from bringing Calzona together, pitted them against each other over the question of buying the hospital — fans took to Twitter to express their disappointment to the outspoken showrunner, and Shonda explained her thought process about the couple. Here are some of the most interesting exchanges:
@idatarbellfan You know what I love?This is same complaint i get from MerDer fans and CrOwen fans.Welcome to equality, honey!
We love it, too — and we can see both sides. We're glad Shonda is trying to be accurate and honest when dealing with Arizona's story, but we're disappointed that it ends up playing, however unintentionally, into the common trope of downplaying queer characters' sexuality. What do you think: Are you bothered by the way Calzona has been handled, during Season 9 and even before Arizona's injury, or do you think Grey's is doing a good job? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Catch the next new episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 9 p.m. ET/PT onABC. Source: @ShondaRhimes Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter@BeccaDMartin.