Well, it turns out at least one cast member wasn’t happy with the direction his character was going — and it was enough for him to quit!
Fans may have noticed that Luke Grimes, the actor who joined Season 6 as James, Jessica’s high-cheekboned, brooding loner boyfriend in the vampire concentration camp, has been replaced for season 7 with hunky Aussie actor Nathan Parsons. Tons of eyebrows were raised last December when reports surfaced that Grimes had left the production—his highest profile role to date—over “creative differences.”
Well it turns out that “creative direction” was out of the closet door. The True Blood writers were refashioning James as a not only a love interest for Jessica, but also a love interest for Lafayette. So, in a truly retrograde bit of homophobia, Grimes decided that playing a gay (or, really, bisexual) role was unacceptable, whereas playing a blood-sucking demon and occasional murderer was totally fine.
A source close to the HBO show says Luke was not happy about the homosexual storyline and said he wouldn’t do any same-sex love scenes! And when the writers refused to back down, he left the show!
Luke’s rep denies this accusation and maintains the actor’s exit was all about scheduling, but of course his publicist would say that.
Before anybody claims that Grimes was right to walk away from a role when he wasn’t given fair warning about his character’s sexuality shift, remember that this is TRUE BLOOD, one of the gayest shows of all time and one in which almost every vampire character becomes bisexual over time. Both of the show’s male heroes have had same sex dalliances (Bill Compton in fantasy sequences, and Eric Northman in actual sexual intercourse with a man he intended to murder). So yeah. Gay stuff is never not in the cards on True Blood.
Meanwhile it’s 2014 and career-panic homophobia continues to thrive in Hollywood. Lol