In Cecily von Ziegesar’s original Gossip Girl books, Chuck Bass is a brazen bisexual, but the CW network has kept the television character only Frenching females . . . until now.
Normally, the television’s womanizing socialite Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) can be seen on “Gossip Girl” lip-locking with love interest Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester). But with all the recent relationship rain, apparently CW thinks that Chuck Bass needs a rainbow. The lucky lad? The little-known actor, Neal Bledsoe. “It’s true! Multiple Gossip Girl insiders confirm . . . the CW phenom is currently shooting an episode for its upcoming third season in which Ed Westwick’s legendary lothario (Chuck Bass) kisses another man,” wrote Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday. Indeed, the Internet is hopping with headlines reading, “Ed Westwick filming gossip girl gay kiss,” at Glamour Magazine, and “Gossip Girls Ed Westwick ‘shares gay kiss,’” at EntertainmentWise.com.
But while the male-male make out may make for titillating titles and send “Gossip Girl” fans fanning themselves, this seemingly forward-thinking “gay kiss” plot may have sizeable holes. According to People, Bledsoe reportedly plays an NYU administrator who is looking for a student to give the freshman speech. Leighton Meester’s character, Blair Waldorf, reportedly sets Bass up with him to boost her chances at getting the gig.” As the Examiner.com reports, “The whole thing is just a cruel ruse by Chuck's almost-girlfriend Blair to somehow seduce the gay guy so he will choose her to give a speech to the freshman class at NYU.” And in the same, very provocative piece in the Gay and Lesbian Issues section of the Examiner.com, Kelvin Lynch writes, “The so-called ‘gay kiss episode’ is insulting for two reasons: (1) it portrays a gay man as easily cast under the spell of a straight man, and (2) it portrays a straight man as so dim-witted he will work around the ‘ewww’ factor to do anything for a girl he likes. Given, the show is known for pushing the sexuality envelope, but this is a new low, he adds.
In year 2009, when same-sex marriages are becoming legal in new states every day, with Kevin and Scotty married on ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters” and Andrew Hodge getting rosy with teen gardener Justin on “Desperate Housewives,” one has to wonder: How will Ed Westwick’s on-air smooch make out? Will the show garner greater intrigue for its arguably controversial kissing or will the straight female demographic turn off? And perhaps more prickly, has CW found a heterosexual (loop) hole in which to safely insert their “bisexual” story line? If so, how will gay rights activists and the gay community react?
Either way, somewhere in the airwaves between 1991 and 2009, televised same-sex kissing became less new, but still news. While gaining frequency in the last two decades, it still holds an erotic fascination that fixes it as tabloid foreplay and stimulates more than five pages of blogging responses on Entertainment Weekly’s Web site from viewers across the country.
Any curious ink slinger has to inquire: How many laws will have to be passed, how many gay marriages sanctioned, how many on-air male-male make outs before a (gay) kiss is just a kiss? In short, when will there be no gossip for the boys?