Soap star Ray Meagher (Alf Stewart) told Digital Spy that later this year the sudser will debut a gay actor onto the canvas. According to Meagher, the soap is set to introduce a gay male character almost ten years after its last significant LGBT storyline.
That plot involved lady cop Charlie Buckton and a short-term character. Meagher’s comments come almost three months after Australia’s historic vote on same-sex marriage, which was legalized in December.
When asked about Home and Away now featuring a gay character, Meagher responded that such a move was already in the works.
Ever the gentleman, the veteran actor was generous in his praise of the soap’s progressive stance. “Our writers do try to keep abreast with the times,” he said, “so there is an interesting character coming in.”
The savvy actor declined to give away too many more details about the new Summer Bay development, but he did reveal that the cast is pleased about the new storyline.
In fact Meagher wasn’t the first Home and Away actor to address the possibility of a gay storyline following the historic same-sex marriage vote Down Under.
At the end of 2017, Shane Withington (John Palmer) tweeted about the subject in response to a critique about the show’s lack of a, “gay in the bay.”
At the time Withington responded simply, “watch this space,” which many took to mean that the Bay was indeed about to increase its diversity. Interestingly, Home and Away’s competition, Aussie soap Neighbours, has featured several gay characters over the past several years.
Home and Away’s decision to introduce a new gay character comes after it decided to end its last storyline reportedly due to pressure from conservative groups.
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