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Modern Family's Mitchell and Cameron have a committed relationship, own a home and are raising a daughter -- and they've done it all without kissing. At least, that's how it looks to some fans of the hit ABC sitcom, who are annoyed by their favorite gay couple's lack of onscreen PDA. Thanks to a fan campaign, including a Facebook group with over 13,000 members, the show's producers are taking the issue seriously. And now, we have official confirmation that Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) will finally pucker up this season.
"We've had an episode planned for a long time that dealt with that subject, so it almost bothers us that there was a little bit of controversy about it," Modern Family creator Steve Levitan told E! on Sunday night. "But sure enough, we're dealing with public displays of affection, and the power of a kiss."
Levitan seems to think the kiss isn't a big deal. Cast member Ed O'Neill, for one, has questioned the importance of a Mitchell-Cameron kiss, pointing out that his character and onscreen wife Sofia Vergara haven't had much PDA either. And of course, gay kisses aren't the major television taboo that they once were.
But it will be a big deal, and here's why: Mitchell and Cameron represent something entirely new to television. They're two successful, normal gay men in a long-term committed relationship. Furthermore, they're raising a child. And they star in a hit sitcom on a major network. They may well be the first gay dads to ever show up in your grandmother's living room. They're a sitcom couple for the new millennium -- and one of the only things setting them apart from other primetime parents is their lack of onscreen affection.
Even now, it's relatively rare for a kiss between committed gay partners to appear on network TV. (Cable is a different story.) When networks first started showing same-sex kisses in the late '90s, they were usually played for laughs (Ellen DeGeneres kissing her best friend on Ellen in 1997) or titillation (Calista Flockhart making out with Lucy Liu on Ally McBeal in 1999). Things slowly began to change as dramas like Dawson's Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer allowed their gay characters to enter real romantic relationships, with occasional smooches.
Now gay affairs are standard plot devices on dramas (see Desperate Housewives, ER, Brothers and Sisters, 90210, House), but many are short-lived -- and more often than not, one or both characters are usually straight. As for sitcoms, we're not sure we've seen a functional gay couple take center stage since Will found true love (after eight seasons!) on Will & Grace.
So yes, a Mitch & Cam kiss is a big deal -- but it's a big deal because it won't be a big deal. It will just be two guys in love sharing a kiss. And knowing Modern Family, it will probably be both funny and heartwarming. Get your "awws" ready.
Do you want to see Cameron and Mitchell kiss? Chime in below!
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