‘Mad Men’ Star Let Go, GLAAD Angry

by | January 29, 2010 at 3:05 PM | Mad Men, TV News

'Mad Men' (AMC)

Sterling Cooper has laid off one of its popular staff members, and the The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is quite upset about the decision–not to mention fans.

Mad Men‘s Bryan Batt won’t be returning to the award-winning drama for its fourth season, it’s been confirmed. Batt, who is openly gay, played Salvatore Romano, the closeted homosexual who was unceremoniously fired from the ad agency after it was discovered that Sal turned down the sexual advances of a male client. The well-liked art director had not been seen for several episodes, nor did he appear in the season finale.

“I was supposed to be notified by December 31, and nothing,” Batt said to TV Guide.

The actor also hinted that he wouldn’t mind a reversal of fortune, adding that he’s “dropping everything,” if producers change their minds.

Interestingly, ‘Mad Men’ received an award nomination from GLAAD for its portrayal of a gay character on television.

The organization criticizes the firing on its Web site: “Because of ‘Mad Men’s overall outstanding quality and the inclusion of Romano in the story lines, the show was recently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series. We believe that by completely eliminating Romano’s character, ‘Mad Men’ is missing an opportunity to explore a wealth of untapped stories.”

GLAAD is urging fans of the show to post their thoughts on ‘Mad Men’s’ Twitter feed or Facebook page.

What does the show’s creator have to say about it?

“I know how people felt about Bryan,” said producer Matthew Weiner. “I obviously love working with him, and he has been an indelible character since the pilot. But I felt it was an expression of the times that he couldn’t work there anymore. It’s the ultimate case of sexual harassment.”