CBS gets a handful of complaints about the Tonys' gay kiss

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 11 2003 12:00 AM ET

Newsday reports that a few dozen viewers of Sunday's Tony Awards contacted CBS to complain about the kiss between Best Original Score winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. A network spokesman said they had received a "small to moderate" amount of negative feedback, "about 10 phone calls and 68 E-mails." Not everyone had a problem with the same-sex affection: Michele Pawk, during her acceptance speech for Best Featured Actress in a Play, noted, "Men kissing each other onstage. Drag queens. Children. It's a perfect world." Similarly, the Best Featured Actor in a Play, Denis O'Hare, said later that he wouldn't have dreamed of not mentioning his boyfriend in his speech. "My relationship comes before my career," he told Newsday. "There was never any question of me not thanking him, and it wasn't intended as a political statement. It would be a sad day if I had to not thank my boyfriend."

While the evening was seen as a triumph for gay visibility on television, there was a limit to that visibility--the New York Daily News reports that, according to preliminary numbers, the 2003 Tonys was the least-watched edition of the Broadway awards in television history, drawing 7.95 million viewers.

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