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‘OLTL’ Issues Statement on ‘Kish’ Firing

‘OLTL’ Issues Statement on ‘Kish’ Firing

Photo: Donna Svennevik/ABC

Friday, March 12, 2010 10:00 PM ET | By Scotty Gore

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Two days after firing their only on-screen same-sex couple, the ABC soap responds to outraged fans of the popular duo.

In a statement given to Soap Opera Network earlier this evening, a “One Life” spokesperson comments that “The groundbreaking Kyle/Fish relationship on ‘One Life to Live’ was embraced by fans both as a great story and a fair and honest reflection of the LGBT community. We’re glad their story resonated with the audience, and understand the fans’ disappointment now that it has concluded. The show has a history of bringing LGBT stories to the screen – earning two GLAAD awards in the process – as well as returning popular characters when they serve the ongoing story. These great characters remain in Llanview, and while there are no immediate plans to advance their story, the door is always open for their return.”

On Wednesday,TV Guide’s Michael Logan broke the news that “One Life to Live” had decided to axe cast members Brett Claywell (Kyle Lewis) and Scott Evans (Oliver Fish), whose characters are affectionately referred to as ‘Kish’ by “One Life” fans.

The decision has been met with backlash from angry fans and gay rights groups, including GLAAD (The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), which said in a press release Friday that “Last summer, ‘One Life to Live’ brought a ground-breaking relationship into the homes of millions with Kyle and Fish’s story, one that built acceptance and understanding of gay people. While we understand that the close of storylines is a frequent occurrence on daytime dramas, canceling this story just as it gains momentum is a step backward in ABC Daytime’s representation of the lives of gay Americans. When news reports broke yesterday, GLAAD spoke to ABC Daytime to voice concerns over the cancellation and advocate that the storyline continue. We remain disappointed that ABC Daytime has chosen to stop sharing this powerful story with viewers of ‘One Life to Live.’ GLAAD will continue to advocate that in the near future producers and writers at ABC Daytime incorporate gay and transgender characters in their programming.”

Both Claywell and Evans are expected to last air sometime in mid-April.

“One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.