Ashton Kutcher’s Walden Schmidt will reportedly perpetrate a fake gay marriage to housemate Alan Harper in an attempt to adopt a child whilst experiencing an “existential crisis”. Apparently the reasoning behind this is that it’s hard to adopt as a single, straight male and as such Walden will pretend to be one half of a gay couple in order to gain acceptance from the adoption agencies.
The president of CBS, Nina Tassler, has gone on record to say that she isn’t concerned with the backlash the LGBT community may throw upon the show.
But this fake marriage and adoption plan is a huge insult to the LGBTQ community. It gives the impression that same-sex marriage is something which doesn’t have to be taken seriously – anyone can do it in the world of Two and a Half Men. Same-sex couples have been fighting for equality for years and this ludicrous plot in the lagging program shows that we are still vying for this equality. Why not show a single man fighting tooth and nail for the chance to adopt and that single men can actually do it alone rather than showing that gay couples have it easy. Same-sex couples don’t actually have it any easier. Whilst rates of same-sex adoption are increasing worldwide, same-sex couples have to go through the same scrutinising that opposite-sex couples have to.
It’s the final season of Two and a Half Men so the program is likely trying to cause controversy in its final year. Had the characters actually been gay this would have been the perfect opportunity to showcase the hardship, turmoil and eventual life-changing moment’s adoptees experience. It would have shown same-sex adoption in a positive light.
However the characters being straight reflect same-sex marriage and adoption in a negative light. Already online a lot of fans (and ex-fans) are expressing disinterest and insult at this latest plot and I expect the ratings to drop as a result.
Tassler has said that the storyline is a “very positive statement” about the LGBTQ community by showing that they can do something which they couldn’t previously do. This may be true, yes, but the program is certainly going about it in the wrong way. One way or another I doubt the writers care any longer as the show gets ready to finish for good.