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New GH Character Sparks Controversy

The introduction of Marc Anthony Samuel's new GH character, openly gay nursing student Felix Dubois, has been the subject of some controversy online, which Head Writer Ron Carlivati has dubbed "Lipstickgate." (As viewers will learn this week, Felix, who brandished a lipstick on his first episode to give Sabrina a mini-makeover, works for a significant-to-story cosmetics company to pay his way through nursing school.) On Twitter, Carlivati responded to viewers who accused him of writing Felix in a stereotypical manner, noting, "I wrote at least five gay characters on #OLTL and none of them IMHO were cartoonish," and adding, "Possessing a tube of lipstick is stereotypical and offensive? Stereotypical of what? And offensive to whom?" In response to a post about Felix on towleroad.com, a self-described "site with homosexual tendencies," Carlivati wrote a longer defense of the new addition, saying that he is an openly gay man and "frankly appalled by the intolerance and internalized homophobia expressed in this post and in the majority of its comments. During my career, I have brought no fewer than six gay characters to daytime television: male, female, Black, White, Hispanic...all shapes and sizes. I have written coming out stories, gay bashing stories, gay marriage stories, gay parenting stories and gay love stories. I wrote the first love scene between two gay men that ever aired on daytime TV. I won a GLAAD award for these stories. What exactly is it about this character that is causing such righteous indignation? The fact that he carries a tube of lipstick in his scrubs? SPOILER ALERT: Felix sells cosmetics to put himself through nursing school. This will be revealed on Monday's show. Not because I think gay men love lipstick, and certainly not to "establish" himself as gay. But even if that were the reason, so what? Does this make him too queeny? Not straight-acting enough? Is that the only type of gay character allowed on TV now? As far as I'm concerned, to be offended by this character is what is offensive. And just FYI, the majority of women (our core audience) I have heard from thus far about Felix have expressed to me how much they like him. The only people who seem to have a problem with him are certain gay men who are apparently afraid of a gay character who might be portrayed as a little bit effeminate." Towleroad.com's author, Andy Towle, posted a follow-up to his original message, saying, "There's no question in my mind that Mr. Carlivati should be allowed the chance to develop his character more fully before judgment is passed and I regret if my commentary suggested that it should."

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