True Blood actor Luke Grimes quit the show over gay storyline and scenes

Luke Rimes
Mild spoilers for True Blood follow
In our True Blood season opener recap, I mentioned that one of my favorite scenes was between Lafayatte, the over the top gay character (played by straight actor Nelsan Ellis) and James, a vampire character who is Jessica’s boyfriend. James became a vampire during the Vietnam war, and he told his backstory to Lafayette, which involved being beaten to near-death by a friend’s father, after which a vampire took pity on him instead of letting him die.

That exchange between Lafayette and James was poignant and hinted at a growing intimacy between the characters. I got the impression that they might get together, and it turns out that I was right. What I didn’t know was that we were seeing a different person in the role of James, an actor named Nathan Parsons. It turns out the original James (as played by Luke Grimes), reportedly quit the show over objections to his character’s gay storyline. To be fair, Grimes’ agent claims it was some kind of scheduling conflict, but Buzzfeed reports that Grimes couldn’t cope with having to kiss another man. We only saw James last season in the vampire jail, and I had no idea that the actor was replaced until I read this article.

As True Blood enters its seventh and final season, there’s almost too much going on to notice the recasting of James, the hunky vampire boyfriend Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) got paired with at the end of Season 6. When Luke Grimes suddenly left the show in December, HBO attributed his decision to “the creative direction of the character.” But now that James’ Season 7 storyline is becoming clear — a budding romance with Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) — a source close to the show confirms that Grimes left because he was uncomfortable playing a gay character.

To be clear, James, who is now played by Bunheads’ Nathan Parsons, hasn’t yet done the deed with Lafayette. But there were heavy hints in the June 22 season premiere, and the storyline is headed in that direction. According to the source, Grimes objected to the first few scripts he received, once it became clear that his character would become romantically involved with Lafayette. He countered that he would be willing to play the role if Lafayette were attracted to him, but not if the attraction was mutual. He also did not want to do any same-sex kissing or sex scenes. The writers were unwilling to change the scripts on his behalf.

Grimes’ publicist, Craig Schneider, says the actor’s exit from True Blood was always a matter of scheduling. In an email to BuzzFeed, he wrote, “Luke always had an out clause as a means of pursuing other opportunities which arose in the form of features beginning with The Shangri-La Suite, followed by Fifty Shades of Grey, and most recently, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper with Bradley Cooper.” In a subsequent phone call, Schneider continued, “It had nothing to do with storylines, which he had not been privy to at the time of that posting,” referring to the Dec. 30 TVLine story.

Reached on Wednesday, a representative for HBO said their original statement about why Grimes’ exited the show has not changed.

According to the source close to True Blood, writers and cast members were baffled and angered by Grimes’ reluctance to take James in a same-sex direction, especially since True Blood has always been an overtly sexual show with heavy LGBT undertones. Despite the scramble to recast the part, the writers and cast are pleased with Parsons’ performance, and believe he’s a good fit for the role of James.

[From Buzzfeed]

Of course it’s Grimes’ prerogative to not film a predictable plot line. It’s like he’s never seen True Blood before. There are plenty of gay characters and sex scenes on True Blood, and even straight characters have sexy same sex dreams. I think he should have disclosed that before he was hired, though. Actors aren’t supposed to just stick to material they’re comfortable with. I do think that if this guy was so uncomfortable playing a gay character that he should have made that clear before he was hired.

I’m glad Grimes was replaced because Parsons is an incredible actor. I was so impressed by that scene in the first episode, and I look forward to seeing more of him. They found a guy who was a dead ringer for Grimes and who can act to boot. Good job.

Here’s Nathan Parsons:
Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 1.32.06 PM

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 1.32.36 PM

Luke Grimes:
GQ 2010 "Men of the Year" Party - Arrivals

Photo credit: PRPhotos and HBO

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183 Responses to “True Blood actor Luke Grimes quit the show over gay storyline and scenes”

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    • bettyrose says:

      IKR. Plus, if you’re not comfortable with your sexuality, you shouldn’t even watch HBO programming, much less be a cast member.

    • Santolina says:

      Maybe he just got cold feet when it became more of a reality to him. That doesn’t mean he’s a homophobe. Nobody should have to kiss somebody they don’t wanna kiss.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        It doesn’t mean he is a homophobe, but if it was the storyline and not scheduling that made him quit, it IS unprofessional of him.

        No doubt TB has a line they say for all casting sessions. Something like, “As you may be aware, our show has as lot of sexuality in it. Your character may engage in sexual situations, perhaps with members of the opposite sex, same sex, or with multiple people. Are you comfortable with this? Are you comfortable with nudity, and to what extent?”

        True Blood is a professionally run show. The would have addressed dipictions of sexual acts during the casting process.

      • bettyrose says:

        It’s not real kissing. It’s acting. Actors routinely do things in their roles they wouldn’t want to do in real life. If he’s not a homophobe, then he’s just really poorly suited to the profession.

      • CTgirl says:

        @bettyrose – If someone has their tongue in your mouth the kiss is pretty real even if the emotions are just part of acting.

      • ol cranky says:

        he’s an ACTOR if they play a role that has to kiss another character and they do not like and/or are not attracted to the person playing the other character that’s tough crap. . . they are actors and their job is to portray a character, not to share the characters views/feelings/etc.

      • ronald Minor says:

        It’s his job dumbass.. If he didn’t want to do this,go dig ditches somewhere… jeeezzzz.

      • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

        He refuse work that he isn’t comfortable with; his actions make perfect sense.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        It is “real” kissing, saliva is being swapped, they don’t call mono the kissing bug for nothing. The motivations are those of acting not romance but your mouth and your spit don’t note the difference. No one should have to kiss someone they don’t want to, it’s simple enough, and I don’t think it is an unprofessional choice, I think it is a personal one. I’m not sure I believe this story, it seems very stretched and manufactured to paint him as a homophobe but regardless, he has every right to say no, no means no right? Why does being an employee put him in a position to do something against his wishes? If this were a woman being compelled to kiss a man or lose her job, what would people say? I’m not saying that mirrors this situation but freedom and respect have to work both ways and people should not be punished for their feelings.

      • Cybal says:

        What is wrong with situation has very little to do with him being a homophobe. It has everything to do with him being completely unprofessional. Just think of all the time and money spent on going through the motions of hiring him. He goes for a job that VERY CLEARLY and for a very long time has put actors in situations where they might have to have same sex scene. He was very unprofessional in the sense that “actors” are paid to be someone else other than yourself. That is pretty much in the 101 acting class. I guess he flaked out on that class as well because he does not even know that is a basic aspect of being an actor. I would feel very uncomfortable pretending to make love to another woman, but I am not stupid enough to have gone after a job that clearly might put me in that position especially when you play a “love interest” of a Vampire on True Blood. It is not enough for these people that think it is ok because he got in over his head and he could not handle what his job entailed, then call it sexual harassment because they are asking him to do something sexual he did not want to do. To the person that wrote that I have to ask if you have been asleep for the last six years of True Blood? After watching True Blood all these years I can’t even believe this is an issue. It is not like True Blood hides the amount of sexual scenes asked of the actors by the writers and directors. There is so much soft porn on this series that I just fast forward through it most of the time, but I am not going to write that the people of True Blood alter their artistic integrity because I can’t handle it. He wasted a lot of people’s time, money and energy because he does not understand his own profession. His problems are not about him being homophobic. He is unprofessional, a flake, short sighted, selfish and from his actions totally full of himself. He has no idea how many “real” actors would kill for that part that he so frivolously threw away because he is too stupid to know that it means to be an actor and what that entails. Personally I am glad he quit and I hope he never works in that industry again. When Will Smith did Six Degrees Of Separation he was asked to kiss another man. He felt uncomfortable with it so he did not do it. It was not made into such a big deal because it was so easily simulated that it hardly mattered. Later on in years as he became more of an actor/artist than a “Rap Star” he made a comment that it was a mistake artistically not to have done the scene properly as an actor/artist.

    • P.J. says:

      Seriously @RLL? If a straight man or woman openly says they are not comfortable being physical with members of the same sex (under any circumstances) it means they are “hiding” something??

      I think our culture has somehow inexplicably lost sight of what heterosexuality is in recent years. I wouldn’t engage physically with another woman professionally or personally. Does that makes me and other straight folks who feel the same way somehow homophobic? Nope. It just makes me straight and comfortable with my sexuality just as everyone should be allowed to be! (One can’t help but wonder if the reactions would be the same if tables were turned and the story were about a gay or lesbian actor refusing to be romantically/physically involved with a woman or man onscreen.)

      • Rll says:

        My reasoning was that actors are paid extortionate amounts of money to pretend to be someone else. Giving up a lucrative, possibly long-running position because you can’t bring yourself to kiss someone of the opposite sex seems bizarre to me. But then, I am a low paid PA who doesn’t break even at the end of the month. I would be fine with play acting with the opposite sex for the security of that pay check.

      • Bread and Circuses says:

        Eh, it’s acting. Faking it is kinda the job description. His own sexuality is beside the point; if he can’t fake it, he’s not a good actor.

        But it’s more likely that he is a good actor who has found he can’t commit to this role anymore. That’s a bit more valid.

        We can criticize him for not being willing to commit to the role adequately, but it’s absolutely his choice. Sometimes the job you signed on for turns out to be a job you don’t want to do after all.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Exactly, Rll and Bread. Even for opposite sex screen couples, the actor doesn’t approach it as if it is for personal stimulation. Actors have to kiss people they find unattractive ALL the time!

      • Maria of MD says:

        This is why I turned from theater to writing and then painting. I really didn’t and don’t like the idea of strangers touching me. I also don’t like being bossed around by strangers, but if you want to stick with acting, you might have to have clauses in your contracts saying what you will and won’t do on film. An old idea clauses, perhaps more actors should resort to them if they don’t want to do ALL those things they ask them to do these days, some of which is awfully close to soft porn.

      • Bear says:

        It’s actually a form of sexual harassment if you’re not able to turn down something you are physically uncomfortable with or say “no”.

        It’s like the Terry Richardson thing. Do they have to go along with it because they’re models and models all take off their clothes these days?

        What is homophobic about saying you don’t want to kiss someone of the same sex? It just means you’re heterosexual. It also, imo, is not believable when gays kiss women onscreen. It’s very tongue in cheek with NPH so you accept it, but I never saw Matt Bomer as believable. It’s in the eyes. They don’t know what they’re doing with women. Just like Ellen in that Mr. Right movie, God I wanted to hug her she was so bad and unbelievable.

      • MCraw says:

        Sexuality is so private and if he thought he could do it, he realized he couldn’t. Not everyone sells sex for a check, RLL.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        Come on, seriously, being an actor does not mean you have to kiss anyone, ever. I’m shocked so many people feel it is okay to force an actor to kiss as it’s “their job”. It’s not their job, these are not porn stars, the expectation that they should do it because they make the “big bucks” is absurd. No employee is under any obligation to perform this way for an employer if it goes against their will.

      • qwerty says:

        “(One can’t help but wonder if the reactions would be the same if tables were turned and the story were about a gay or lesbian actor refusing to be romantically/physically involved with a woman or man onscreen.) ”

        YEAH, let’s talk about it when it happens lmao

    • Dolce crema says:

      What’s he hiding?
      I wouldn’t want to make out with an old guy (or an old lady!) if I could find another job without doing it, so I must be hiding that I’m so into them that I just can’t handle it right ?

    • Amy says:

      I agree. No loss the other guy is cuter

    • aemish says:

      Not unlike Tom Cruise who had the homosexuality edited out of Interview With A Vampire back in the day *shrug*

    • lvbronco says:

      I so agree with you that Parsons is such a great actor. He too blew me away in this scene I kept saying to myself, who is this actor? He was so good. Looking forward to following this storyline for sure.

  1. Dorothy#1 says:

    I love Nathan Parsons!! He is super hot and used to be on my soap General Hospital. This can only be a good career move for him.

  2. Lindy says:

    I dunno – how much is an actor expected to divorce himself from his material?

    What if an actor refused to play a particularly racist or brutal character – would we look down on him for that? What about a vegan actor who refused to play a butcher or a hamburger-flipper?

    • eva says:

      It’s his choice, he shouldn’t have to do anything he’s uncomfortable with just because he’s an actor and wants to appear PC. Maybe he was told he wouldn’t be in any same sex relationships who knows.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I would absolutely shake my head at him and call him a moron if he auditioned for , say, Hannibal Lecter and refused to fake-murder someone. This is not a new show. Sorry, I wouldn’t have posted basically the same thing below if I had seen your comment first.

    • Nicolette says:

      @Lindy, @eva, I agree with everything both of you said.

    • Jen says:

      You’re equating playing a racist with playing a gay character? Shame on you.

    • Ennie says:

      Or a hunter… Or getting naked… It is his prerogative, but he did know the kind of show he was in…

      • FLORC says:

        Not every show that has loads of adult scenes and character content makes every character do that. There have been lots of TB characters that never had to do those scenes. They also weren’t on too long, but still.

        He truly might not have known this at the time. We have a wider view and the value of hindsight.

        He made his choice and he’s comfortable with it. I don’t think he’s afraid those scenes. He just doesn’t want to do them.

        I wouldn’t do those scenes with another girl, but it’s not because i’m uncomfortable with my sexuality. It’s simply my choice and I shouldn’t be judged for it.

    • Mmhmm says:

      ITA: I’m gay and the thought of kissing a straight girl grosses me out. Why is this getting blown up? Now he’s going to be labeled homophobic, etc. and shoehorned into making an apology. Face it people, there are people who find the same sex gross when it comes to kissing and sec, and I’m ok with that.

      • Erinn says:

        I’d struggle to do it, and I certainly don’t consider myself even remotely homophobic. Some people can just push themselves to do things more easily than others – and that’s all I see it as. He’s uncomfortable, so he made the best decision for himself and the show and left, allowing someone else to do it.

      • FLORC says:

        Yes!
        Should have read down before I posted. You’ve both said it better.

        And this thread might have a better chance of answering my question…
        Why say “homophobic”? If someone uses a slur or refuses to kiss their same gender is it because they truly fear that person, lifestyle, or idea of the action with them? If you’re saying something intended to hurt someone else wouldn’t it be more hate based and not fear based?

        Or is it our way or getting back at the person who used the slur to claim they only use it because they are uncomfortable with their sexuality and must fear that side of themselves. I think often enough it’s simply that the person says it out of hate and not fear. So, it makes no sense why it uses phobic or phobia.

      • Erinn says:

        I was thinking of that earlier, too, FLORC. I have no idea. It was a bad word choice that apparently stuck

      • Lucrezia says:

        Yeah, -phobia is a dumb suffix. It really should be an -ism (to fit with all the other -isms, like racism and anti-Semitism.) Heterosexism and homonegativism have been suggested. Personally, I think we should just expand the term “sexism” and dump anything regarding gender or sexuality into that.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Its getting blown up because what he did was very unprofessional, if it was because of the storyline and not because of scheduling. If this is true, he isn’t a homophobe, but it is irresponsible.

      • FLORC says:

        Thanks all!
        Glad i’m not alone in thinking the word is poorly used.

      • linlin says:

        Are you an actor? Probably not. Kissing someone on camera is not supposed to be pleasant, you are not supposed to be attracted to that person. Vivien Leigh found Cary Grant disgusting, didn’t stop her from doing her job.

      • mayamae says:

        @linlin, it was Clark Gable that Vivian Leigh hated kissing because he had dentures and bad breath.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      But I think we can’t over look that this is TB, if he had reservations he should have made himself clear during the casting process.

      It happens all the time where actors go to audition for a commercial and they are told it will require you to eat a burger or pepperoni, so are you ok eating meat? Some actors won’t do commercials for prescriptions (cos), some won’t do parts that have toilet humor in them. Your agent should know your boundaries and the actor should be upfront when they are auditioning/negotiating. Like, you wouldn’t audition for a burger commercial without mentioning you can’t eat cheese or meat. It would be irresponsible to do so. The thing is, they are usually asked before they are hired if they are ok with the requirements of the job. It is very unusual for someone to get cast, film episodes, and then change their mind.

      • Bear says:

        They get character stories and those stories usually say orientation. He doesn’t have to do what he doesn’t want to do just for money. It doesn’t make him a bad person to say “no”. People say no to their bosses all the time and should continue to put their comfortability over money.

        I don’t get the hate. I wouldn’t force a gay guy to kiss a girl if he didn’t want to, same here.

    • delorb says:

      @Lindy,

      In those instances, they have substitutes. Instead of meat, it would be a tofu or something, made up to look like meat. As for playing a racist character, wouldn’t that be in the script? And barring that, wouldn’t they have hinted at the character becoming or being a racist? Its telling that he didn’t want to pretend to be a gay and/or kiss a black character.

    • Jbanks979 says:

      It’s TRUE BLOOD. You forever forfeit a right to complain about the morality of the subject matter when you willingly audition for one of the trashiest and GAYEST shows of all time.

  3. LDUB says:

    Parsons is hotter and a better actor. NEXT!

  4. littlemissnaughty says:

    Ahahahahahaaa! You cannot audition for TB if you’re not prepared for anything, dude. Gay scenes are the norm on that show and while I stopped watching quite some time ago, I still say: Bless them. … Not for most of the plot though.

  5. Clucky says:

    I thought that character looked different but I didn’t really care enough to investigate.

  6. Tiffany says:

    Ummm…his prerogative, I guess? I always thought as an actor you take on every aect so you will not be stuck in typecasting and will want to continue to get character work. Oh well.

  7. Kat says:

    So what ? If he didnt feel comfortable going at it with a guy , then what ?

  8. Jayna says:

    I see no issue with it if he’s not comfortable. It doesn’t mean he’s anti-gay rights. Most male actors in Hollywood aren’t comfortable with same sex scenes and turn down roles all the time when offered. When they take such a role, they are praised because few do, but the others aren’t shamed for not doing it. Let’s stop with the PC stuff here of how he should feel and respect how he actually feels, that ultimately he wasn’t comfortable with how far they wanted to take the character. He doesn’t mean he’s not for gay rights and gay marriage and equality.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I would also add plenty of actors and actresses have no contact clauses in their contracts and from the get go have a long list of things they won’t do on camera. Not ever actor or actress is willing to do everything and anything and that is their right. I don’t understand why so many people want to blow this up into a homophobia storyline. We don’t know for sure that is even why he left the show, it’s just ugly speculation.

  9. Jen says:

    I feel gross for thinking he was hot now, cause he’s clearly a homophobe.

  10. Lady Elle says:

    It’s his choice….just like actors and actresses who choose not to do nudity scenes.

  11. Jayne says:

    Not to stoke the gossip fires but maybe he has a problem with the actor that plays LaFayett? I havent watched the show since mid-way season 3 but even by that point allthe major male characters had had a gay scene (either as part of plot or a dream). He must have known he may have to do a same sex scene so I’m thinking this is maybe him nit wanting to get down with a specific actor – boy drama or something

  12. Mia4S says:

    As said above, it’s his perogative, but I do question the sense of taking a job on True Blood if there were scenarios you were uncomfortable with. It’s not exactly the West Wing! I’m not seeing a big story here. I may disagree with his (probable) prejudices, but he has the right. He no longer has the job, which was the consequence. He accepted it, the employer recast; done.

    • Erinn says:

      I guess if they pitched it as playing the boyfriend of whatsherface, and left it at that…then you’d expect to have the sex scenes with her…not a man. I don’t think he’s homophobic, and I don’t think he’s super hurt over leaving. The show moves on, and if he’s uncomfortable, then I guess it’s the best for everyone that he’s moved on.

    • mayamae says:

      I don’t know his thinking, but I do know he could have handled himself a little better. First of all, part of his excuse is he thought he would be acting with his friend, and now that’s changed. That sounds very childish. It sounds like he pulled out at the last minute, which is very unprofessional. Now this is also a show who’s show runner is gay, and I would assume has a high gay viewership. It’s a very delicate situation, and I think the actor could have handled it better.

      Quick question: What if the actor backed out because he found out he wouldn’t be paired with his friend, but with the character Tara? Tara is black. Would we call him racist? Or would we say the poor thing thought he would be acting with his friend and they switched things at the last minute. He shouldn’t have to do things that make him uncomfortable.

  13. Original Tessa says:

    I honestly don’t know why this guy is getting heat for this. Maybe he should have known better taking a role on True Blood, but if he doesn’t want to do gay scenes on a cable soap opera that is well past its prime, then he shouldn’t have to, and walking away from it is his choice.

    • MarBear says:

      I honestly feel like Buzzfeed is just making a story out of nothing. Shame on them! I feel their article paints him as a homophobe when in reality I am sure there is a logical reason why he had to step down. and honestly I personally find the direction the show is taking in regards to his character a little odd. Last season he had the hots for Jess and now he’s going to be intimate with Lafayette….ummmmm okay. As someone who does some acting (theater) if you are not feeling your character or the writing it can be incredibly hard to play that character in
      a convincing manner.

  14. elo says:

    Meh, I suppose it is his prerogative. Still though, has hr ever seen the show? Wasn’t there a sex scene with Sam, Bill, and Eric at one point, a dream sequence? Anyway, I doubt it will really impact his career but he may want to start escaping his comfort zone as that is usually what actors receive acclaim for.

  15. Mom2two says:

    Honestly, Nathan Parsons did not impress me at all in the first episode of True Blood. Given the fact that the James character was hot for Jessica last year, maybe it’s not so much that Luke Grimes objected due to personal beliefs but not enough time to explore why the character’s attraction to Jessica would shift to Lafayette. But, on the flip side, this is True Blood where plots frequently make no sense and anything goes. Grimes shouldn’t have been surprised. This story coming out is not going to help his career at all.
    ETA: on Nathan Parsons, maybe he will impress me more in future episodes.

    • InVain says:

      I agree with every thing you said, Mom2two. I noticed the actor change immediately and couldn’t figure out why the relationships seemed so different. Last season James and Jessica were wwaaaaaayyy into each other….so what now? I actually preferred Luke Grimes – but as an actor it is his choice to step away….and who knows if we even have the whole story.

    • ORLY says:

      Do they not stick to the Suki Stackhouse books for the show?

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        Orly, the show is nothing like the books. As much as I loved Alan Ball’s interpretation of Six Feet Under, I really dislike where he took True Blood. They’ve really neglected the love triangle between Sookie, Eric and Bill (which was an overarching theme of the Sookie stack house series) and focused on a bunch of lame story lines when they could have pulled some more interesting stuff from the books (like the Quinn storyline that also involved Sam). Alan really dropped the Ball on the show 😉

      • InVain says:

        NOPE. I read the first 4 books of the series, and while they stuck it out for a bit…the show and the books share very little similarity (as in zero) at this point. There are some liberties that they took that made the show better, like making Tara a much bigger part of the show than she ever was in the books….

      • mom2two says:

        Orly, the show bears little resemblance to the books. I think probably the first season was as close to the first book as they could get and then they spun it off into their own thing. You could read the Sookie Stackhouse books comfortably and not be spoiled for the show and vice versa.
        i.e. Lafayette dies at the end of the first books and is alive and well in the show. Jessica, James do not exist in the books. Jason and Tara have much larger roles in the show than they do in the books.

      • cr says:

        “They’ve really neglected the love triangle between Sookie, Eric and Bill (which was an overarching theme of the Sookie stack house series) ” Not really, as Bill disappears from the series for long stretches of time after book 4.

  16. boredbrit says:

    ‘Actors aren’t supposed to just stick to material they’re comfortable with.’ Really don’t agree with this. If they want to challenge themselves it should be their choice. It should not be done out of a misplaced sense of obligation.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      Agree, some actors might do a great job with a material that they find challenging but not everyone can. Especially in a TV-show where the writing and directing might not be that good. Why would anyone wish he would take the job because he feels he has to and do a bad job?
      I think PC requirements go too far if people are demanded to play gay characters.

    • Sighs says:

      +1
      I would argue that most actors stick with things they’re comfortable with. It’s now you get marketed. As a type. It’s rare that actors even get the opportunity to stretch themselves. And if they don’t want to, that’s ok. Many actors turn down many roles for a variety of reasons. I’m not judging him unless he’s openly discriminating, which he is not. He made a choice, they found a new actor. End of.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I agree as well, I think many people have a strange view of what it means to be an actor, as if you are a slave or automaton that is no longer allowed to think or feel but is in thrall to the character. Acting is a job, actors are workers and workers are free to choose what type of work they would like to do. Most people choose to do work they are comfortable doing, in acting as everywhere else.

  17. The Original Mia says:

    It’s his prerogative. Would we say the same to a woman who didn’t want to do nudity on True Blood? No, we wouldn’t. I don’t know this guy but I feel uncomfortable labeling him a homophobe for not wanting to film a gay scene.

    • Tiffany says:

      Mia. I get the impression that no one is calling him a homophobe. He sign on to a show where same sex relationships and scenes occur and then backed out. It was his choice to make

    • I Choose Me says:

      I’m with you. I just don’t know enough about the guy to grab the pitchfork just yet. I will say that Nathan Parsons is the hotter of the two imo.

      Sadly, I don’t have HBO anymore so I’ll have to Youtube the show when I can.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I think the timing is unprofessional. They would have discussed nudity and sexuality during the casting process, and he should have spoken up at that time if he had a problem. Everyone has a right to their boundaries, but make it clear upfront because it is a waste of people’s time, money and energy to bring it up after you’ve already filmed episodes.

      I am still not completely convinced that it was the storyline and not scheduling that made him leave, though.

    • robertn800 says:

      I have no trouble calling him a Homophobe since that’s the reason he left the show. He had no problem playing a blood sucking Vampire who kills people, but refuses to kiss another man? Actors -ACT…the great ones go outside their comfort zone and do things to relate to the role. Look how many straight Oscar winners have played Gay characters, or had some form of nudity in a role. or played Mafia figures, or remember Hanibal Lecter ? An Actor does what the role calls for, not refusing to do something because it’s against their personal prejudices. If they do, they shouldn’t choose acting as a profession. This Guy would be better off working at Chik-Fill-A, and I hope he ends up there.

  18. Dragonlady sakura says:

    While everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs and feelings, this just seems very unprofessional. If you’re an actor, you have to play all kinds of characters and make them believable. Obviously he’s not mature enough for the profession.

    • Mmhmm says:

      Disagree. I’m a musician and that’s like telling me I’m not a true one unless I try and stick with every genre, including country (which I detest) and rock (which I suck at). I don’t think actors are required to try different things. Plus, nobody gets offended when actors DONT choose different things, but they are now in this case because it involves gay scenes.

      • delorb says:

        No they aren’t REQUIRED, but they will be ASKED. You’re focusing on the wrong point here, IMO. He voiced his objection AFTER getting the job. Shouldn’t that have come BEFORE being hired? There are all sorts of clauses in contracts. No nudity. Five hookers a day. No kissing with black dudes.

        That way the production could get an actor that wouldn’t have any objections to changes in their storyline. Does that make him a homophobe? Probably not. But it doesn’t make him look good.

      • Bear says:

        So what if he decided later that he couldn’t? Should everyone get nude for Terry Richardson because it’s Terry Richardson and they should expect to have his paws on them? It may be acting but its still sexual. How many people fall in love with their partners on the show? Because there is still chemistry over “fake” scenes.

      • delorb says:

        @Bear,

        Surely you aren’t equating doing a gay scene with an actual ASSAULT?

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        No means no, even if you decide at the last minute, so unless you wish to coerce someone into doing something against their will, yes, you are walking a fine line there. It may offend you to the core to suggest that forcing someone to do a gay scene against their will is assault but guess what, you can’t force people to do things just because you hired them.

      • delorb says:

        @Bob,

        Doing a scene, even a GAY one isn’t assault. That’s insulting to the people who are ACTUALLY assaulted by people like Terry. If he didn’t want to do the scene because of the gay overtones, he’s well within in right. And as you know, no one FORCED him to STILL do it. He voiced his objections and was let go. The women who encountered Terry weren’t. Apples and oranges.

        I understand that fans of the guy don’t want him to look bad, so they’re twisting things, but his quitting because of the gay themes, make him look bad. Not homophobic, just unprofessional. Not closeted, just unprofessional.

        This is going to stick with him for awhile, IMO. He’s going to be asked ‘why?’ for many years to come. He and his fans better prepare themselves for it.

  19. Opinion says:

    I agree with Original Tessa.

    If someone is heterosexual, he/she shouldn’t have to or feel pressured into doing a same-sex scene and why would they want to. Just because a persons sexuality isn’t a big deal to some doesn’t mean it isn’t and can’t still be for others. It’s not like he’s trying out a new pair of jeans. It’s his choice and if he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t have to and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

  20. aenflex says:

    His choice. Some men just can’t make out and have foreplay with another man. Not all of them are closeted or homophobes. Clearly the show and audience came out for the better anyway, so what’s the big deal?

  21. ML says:

    I read somewhere when he left that he wanted to join TB because he had worked with the girl who played Jessica before and wanted to work with her again, but then found out that they had changed his storyline that wouldn’t involve her. It really doesn’t make sense that they have him in a relationship with Jessica for a couple of episodes and now he’s bi and is going to leave her for Lafayette? There’s only 9 eps left, why bother? I’m sure the s**ty writing is the real reason he left.

    • Breen says:

      I read the same thing, that he wanted to work with Jessica and then found out they were taking the character some place else, and he asked to be replaced/released.
      I don’t understand why this is a big deal. I can’t blame him no matter what his reasoning. The show is almost over and its just awful, its been getting worse as the show progresses, I wouldn’t want my name attached to it now either.

  22. eowyn says:

    I don’t see the pblm.
    It is already difficult to do an intimate scene with a stranger from the opposite sex if you are heterosexual so doing one in a kind of relationship you never had and probably never will, might be too much.
    Everyone have their limits.

    • Nev says:

      He’s a actor.

      BOO!!!!!!!!’

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        He’s actor and what, therefore no longer human? Therefore free to be forced to do things he doesn’t want to do? An actor is not a slave, or a puppet, or a mannequin and just as you would never wish to be forced to do something at your job that goes against your will so does an actor. Many, many actors don’t do nude scenes, or sex scenes, should they be forced to because they’re actors? Of course not, it’s childish to suggest actors have to do anything and everything, they are free to pick and choose, as they should be.

  23. Grumpycat says:

    I think the key thing here is that he is an actor and it’s his job to play a character. He should have thought of that before he got into this line of work and certainly before accepting a role with True Blood. There are many many types of roles that should be outside of comfort zone that you would be expected to do if you are an actor. Kissing the same sex seems really tame in comparison to a lot of other things I can think of. If this is truly what happened then I think this man is a failure at his job and won’t have a very successful career.

    • Bear says:

      This whole “he made a choice thing” is pretty inconsistent across the board. Does someone with ovaries have to have the baby because she knew how the whole process works and shouldn’t have had sex unless she was prepared?

      The contract wasn’t written in stone or blood. He doesn’t have to end of story.

  24. OriginallyBlue says:

    This is why you need to ask questions about what you are getting into before committing to it. This show has been on for a while and is a book series (?) Reading it would have been in his best interest. Either they failed to mention the gay aspect of the character or he knew and thought he could do it then changed his mind. I don’t think you should do things you aren’t comfortable with.

    • JustChristy says:

      Reading the books wouldn’t have helped him, as his character, his friend’s character, and even the character of the guy he was to have a relationship with, don’t exist in them (except Lafayette, who was killed at the end of book one.) It seems more like he went into the job, believing he’d be doing one thing, then it was changed on him midway. He has the right to not want to do things outside of his comfort zone, and not be labeled something he may not be. If he truly is a bigot, it’ll eventually come out, but until that happens, a little benefit of the doubt is in order. I wouldn’t put him in the Phil Robertson club just yet ;)

  25. eliza says:

    I thought that actor looked different. I knew it was someone else but did not know the backstory.

    True Blood has always had straight sex, gay sex, orgies etc. What rock was he hiding under that he missed that memo?

  26. blue marie says:

    Meh, I like Parsons and didn’t even miss the first guy. And yay, bout time Lafayette got some love again. I hated that he was just background last season.

  27. Jesse4 says:

    What’s horrible is this is all hearsay. I mean I know it’s gossip and a gossip site but again it’s just sources and nobody from HBO or his agent are saying this was the reason. Seems like someone wants to make a big deal out of nothing. People drop out of roles all the time and they change actors come new seasons (GoT). And I should hope people can feel free to not do something that they are uncomfortable with (if it is true) without being called names, etc.

  28. lono says:

    People are trippin saying he’s hiding something…he doesn’t want to kiss a guy and that’s ok….
    Heck I don’t blame him…

    • FingerBinger says:

      It really does seem like a non issue. He doesn’t feel comfortable kissing or having love scenes with another man. So what. I remember reading a few years ago that Jim Caviezel didn’t feel comfortable doing love scenes because of his religion. An actor isn’t obligated to do something they don’t feel comfortable with just because they’re an actor.

  29. Sighs says:

    Ok, I have never seen this show, but from what you all are describing, it sounds like a giant bloody orgy with little plot and they just happen to be vampires? Am I missing something?

  30. Diana says:

    OMG, Nathan Parsons. He was Ethan for a long time, and pretty recently, on the abc soap General Hospital. Ethan and Kristina forever, hahaha.

    That’s all I’ve got, to be honest.

  31. hatekyle says:

    why can’t he quit because of his belief. i’m glad luke stood up against hollywood hype and over-glamorizing of sex (same sex) scenes.

    • mayamae says:

      I don’t think Hollywood over glamorizes same sex scenes. For instance, the new Showtime show Penny Dreadful has shown explicit heterosexual sex scenes, and yet the one male/male sex scene was a kiss, followed by a verbal reference an episode or two later that sex happened. Modern Family shows physical affection and tenderness between the hetero couples, yet minimizes the physical relationship of the male/male relationship. Soap opera’s bread and butter is romance and sex scenes, but very rarely show any action between gay couples.

    • Opinion says:

      hatekyle:

      Ditto. Society in general has become overly sexualized. Apparently there’s nothing else to talk about or show anymore. Pity.

  32. Josefa says:

    I think it’s totally understandable if he doesn’t want to, and I wouldn’t be so quick to call him homophobic. Being supportive of LBGT rights while feeling uncomfortable about kissing someone of the same gender is totally compatible, imo.

    But yeah, he should’ve known about the nature of this show before signing up.

  33. Marianne says:

    I can’t really blame him if he wasn’t comfortable with the material. It doesn’t seem like he’s making a huge deal over it, stating how its digusting and wrong or whatever. He wasn’t comfortable…thats fine.

    And who knows, maybe the role originally was not supposed to be gay and therefore he didnt know what he was getting into.

    • Evie says:

      Well if he wasn’t comfortable he wasn’t comfortable. That’s it. He was originally supposed to be Jessica’s love interest and I guess he was surprised when they switched things up and he found out he was going to be Lafayette’s love interest. So Grimes and TB parted ways. End of story.

      BTW, there are other actors on TB — notably Rutina Wesley – who are uncomfortable with nudity. In every one of her sex scenes, no matter whether it’s with a man or a woman, she’s always kept her bra on! I also don’t recall seeing Kristin Bauer van Straten or Carrie Preston do any nude scenes, although Kristin’s character Pam has slept with men and women.

      Grimes simply didn’t have the clout to go against the producers, so he’s out. Years ago, back in the 60s a very young Diane Keaton, was the only member of the Broadway cast of “Hair” to refuse to be nude on stage. That was long before she was famous and it didn’t harm her career. If this business with Grimes had happened a few years ago when TB was still hot, I’d be suspicious that they leaked it to divert attention from Eric’s absence. But I honestly think it just came up now because people noticed Grimes has been replaced by Parsons. I wish both actors the best of luck. And I can’t wait for Alexander Skarsgard to show up – hopefully tomorrow night!

  34. the original bellaluna says:

    Has he never seen the show before?!? I find it hard to believe that it never came to mind he would have same sex storylines prior to accepting the role.

  35. Lori says:

    I honestly think someone is using Luke Grimes to create some drama for the last season of the show. It creates some internet stir and maybe it gets the show mentioned on the entertainment shows a little more. Its the last season and a lot of the fans have already checked out, due to poor writing and terrible plot lines. This gets people talking about something other then…….where the F is Eric.

  36. M.A.F. says:

    I kept staring at him through out the episode trying to figure out what they did to his hair to make him so different. Then I saw this article the other day and realized it wasn’t the hair!

    Disagree w/the argument saying he should have disclosed what he would be uncomfortable w/certain parts of the job. Yes, he should have known there would have been the possibility of nudity & kissing w/a member of the same sex but we’ve all been there when the panel gets to that part of an interview & they ask you those extra questions & we say yes, that we will be able to take on extra hours, work Sundays, etc. to get the job. Same applies here. Plus, the writers and producers last season may or may not have had his story line flushed out for this season.

  37. Kathy says:

    I’m really tired of all this condemnation. Here and on the IMDB boards. Being an actor does not make you an indentured servant. He wasn’t even a major character last season. He was uncomfortable with the direction of the character, they let him out of his contract, no problem, and replaced him with an actor who will be just fine as the character. It’s nobody’s business why and no one has the right to judge him.

    These outrages are like people against same sex marriage saying it will destroy hetero marriages. How does him leaving affect ANY ONE’S life but his. It doesn’t even hurt the TB actors they found a great replacement.

    Let it go and leave him alone why don’t all of you? What’s it to you?

    • Tiffany :) says:

      “How does him leaving affect ANY ONE’S life but his.”
      Not exactly. It certainly created more work for the people who work on, cast, and film the show. The casting people had to redo a job they had already done. It cost the production more money. If he pulled out because of the storyline, it was unprofessional of him, but clearly no one’s lives were ruined or anything…but I don’t think most people are being that dramatic about it.

      • Opinion says:

        Happens all the time in Hollywood. That’s the business. It’s not problem for HBO to replace him because if it were they could have made him sign a different contract.

        I hope most people aren’t being dramatic. Always puzzles me when some get outraged when someone straight doesn’t want to be or play or support gay. He doesn’t have to, period.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I know it does happen, but that doesn’t change the fact that such actions have consequences.

        For example, lets say you have a fast food employee that stops showing up for work. It doesn’t mean the food place will shut down without them and the whole chain will grind to a hault. They will be able to replace them, but that doesn’t make it professional. Just because it happens occassionally doesn’t mean that it won’t increase cost or decrease profit. Especially with tv production, time is money. If he made this known after the script was already written, that was very late in the game and no doubt caused a lot of ovetime, stress, headaches, and expenses.

        I am curious about where you have seen people being outraged that a straight person doesnt want to “be” gay. I’ve yet to see a movement to force straight people to actually become gay.

      • Kathy says:

        As Opinion says, it happens all the time and there was an out clause in his contract or we would have been hearing about a law suit.

        They were between seasons when he quit and they were casting for the new season anyway, it’s not that big a deal to bring in actors in to an audition to fill vacant role.

        The IMDB boards just blew up in outrage about this. I don’t believe his leaving is unprofessional at all. It happened on Game of Thrones with the Dario character. The actor in the previous season left to do the Transformers (was that a smart choice? Well, he thought it was at the time).

        I just find that this is news puzzling. Now if Stephen Moyer left and they had to replace him, I could understand if that became news, but little Luke Grimes? Why is it that important?

        And actually, if HBO really did leak this on purpose, I think Luke has grounds to sue. It was a petty thing to do.

    • Jane says:

      I agree. IF he turned the part down because he was uncomfortable playing a gay scene, then he has right to do that whether anybody else likes it or not. Actors make choices all the time about what they will or will not do on screen. Some will not do nude scenes and others have no problem. Some will do nudity only from the back, no full frontal. Some are allowed to use body doubles.

      Then there are actors who turn down any role they feel doesn’t suit their image. They are usually successful actors who can afford to pick and choose, but the point is they won’t play certain roles usually because the audience just isn’t used to seeing them in a role like that and they feel it will backfire.

      Why is he any different?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        He is different because he made his choices known AFTER he was cast and had filmed episodes. The responsible thing is to make your restrictions known during the casting process.

      • Jane says:

        He wasn’t locked into a contract. If it was such a big deal to the TB people, they would have locked him in with a contract with all the bells and whistles laid out as far as what they expected of him. Obviously it wasn’t that important or that is what would have happened.

        The choice thing works both ways. He accepted an acting job offered to him but with no guarantee he would be offered that job again. He could have been written out or his part could have been marginalized to the point he only had a few days work. It isn’t any more irresponsible of him to make another choice concerning a job (because that is what it is, a job) than it was for the TB people not to put him under contract. The TB people had a right to conduct business they way they chose and he had a right to accept or not any offer to him since he was not under contract.

    • Bear says:

      Replacing someone is not a huge deal, and its not like Harrison Ford breaking a foot shooting Star Wars or something happening to Leo on the set of another Scorsese film. It’s not even Game of Thrones and Jon Snow, Cersei, or Tyrion leaving. True Blood is now HBOs equivalent of an FX program after Thrones came out.

      If he feels that uncomfortable then his ability to act it out would not be that good, so in a sense he’s helping the show.

      Besides, all of this crap about the cast, crew, and his contract is so that people can pat themselves on the back and say they’re pro-gay and not a Republican. This type of overblown, misplaced hysteria is why so many people are independents. Republicans are nuts and they took the Democrats with them this decade, I guess.

  38. Cali says:

    Nevermind. I’m having a blonde moment for sure. LOL

  39. Nora says:

    I can’t believe how many people are standing up for this actor who apparently doesn’t know what ACTING is. Male and female actors often don’t like each other, might even be repulsed, but they know how to ACT.

    I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by all the conservative old housewives hanging out on celebitchy though.

    • Mmhmm says:

      And you’re acting like it’s a requirement for people to kiss and be uncomfortable when acting. I’m actually shocked at the amount of people trying to turn this into a scandal or painting him as a homophobe. It’d be different if he was doing a play or a movie where he has read the ENTIRE script. TV shows have plots that are constantly changing. Yes, true blood has always been sexually charged, but he was apparently ok with it, he just didn’t want to act intimate with a guy. Brad Pitt doesn’t do sex scenes anymore; I don’t see you or anyone else calling him out.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Mmhmmm, I highly doubt that sexually explicit scenes and all of the variations they could possibly take weren’t discussed during the casting process (nudity, simulated acts, same sex, group scenes, etc). That just isn’t how these things are done on professional productions. They ask you/agent a range of questions and get specific. You can say if you are fine with showing your butt but not your boobs, fine with simulated acts but not nudity, etc. You just have to tell them up front when they ask you about your reservations. They DO ask you about what you are comfortable with. This is routine in such productions. That would have been the time for him to say that he wouldn’t be comfortable with same sex scenes.

        I don’t think this makes him a homophobe, but it is unprofessional.

      • Mmhmm says:

        Apparently the TB people didn’t think it was that unprofessional, or they would have made a big deal about and tried to force him to stay with threats of breach of contract. I’m not understanding the ‘unprofessional’ claim when we really haven’t heard from anyone in the TB camp about it. This kind pf thing happens a lot. I’ve worked in musicals and operas, which are completely scripted and people know what they’re getting into, and people still walk away once they see and understand the director’s vision and how far they’re taking things.

      • A.Key says:

        “Brad Pitt doesn’t do sex scenes anymore”

        Which is super ironic since his claim to fame and success was a sex scene.

    • Kathy says:

      I’m an actor, which is why I’m standing up for him. I understand the business. Agreeing to play Jessica’s love interest in two or three episodes is not the same thing as having a love story arc with Laffy. It’s just not. He signed on for one storyline, they changed it. Actors aren’t always told everything they’ll have to do, sometimes not even before they get to set (which is wrong IMO). Actors must stand up when they are asked to do something they find uncomfortable. Otherwise, TPTB will roll right over them.

      People in this fandom are always complaining about no chemistry between characters. That’s not easily manufactured. Even if you hate the person you’re playing opposite, you could have chemistry with them, but if it’s not there, it’s not there. If Luke is uncomfortable, he’s going to come off uncomfortable, better to cast someone new who IS comfortable.

      • Kayl says:

        @Kathy, thank you for being the only person down here making sense.

      • Sighs says:

        Thank you , Kathy. I used to be, and my husband is an actor. And you’re right, if actors don’t stand up for themselves no one else will. Only you know what your limits are, and it’s not always clear early in the process if you will be asked to do something that stretches those boundaries.
        It really bothers me that some people think because we’re talking about an actor, they have no right to complain or be uncomfortable. If it were literally any other profession, everyone would be up in arms about making an employee do something they weren’t comfortable with. But because you’re an actor, they want you to be 100% ok with anything the writers or directors ask of you. No. This is why there’s a union.

  40. A.Key says:

    Wow, nobody here in the comments understands what acting is. And neither does Luke Grimes obviously. Acting is becoming someone else, being in someone else’s shoes. You represent another person, NOT yourself. Of course Grimes did the wrong thing because not only did he refuse to do the job he was hired to do (and for which he himself willingly applied, no one forced him in the acting business or on True Blood), but he doesn’t even understand what his job is supposed to be. No wonder we have a plethora of bad acting everywhere these days since people assume acting is just you memorizing lines and pretending to see something that’s not there.

    • Sighs says:

      So you obviously believe that actors shouldn’t have any clauses about what they will and won’t do? What they will and won’t show? Everyone should have to show their tits because “it’s not really them, they’re acting!”?
      Actors are people. They have every right to quit something when they are not comfortable with what they are being asked to do. And when they do, there will be another actor to take their place who is comfortable doing that.
      And yes, I understand an actors job. I’ve done it. So have most of my friends.

    • Sighs says:

      I would also argue that we have a plethora of bad acting because Hollywood only hires the extremely attractive who are willing to do just about anything on camera. Most of which doesn’t take any actual talent. ;)

    • Kathy says:

      Sighs, you’re so totally right. About the reason for unions and the pretty people “Hollywood” hires.

      A.Key, are you an actor? Have you studied? Have you acted on stage and/or on camera? An actor’s job is to interpret the character, using their own essence. Their job is to create a back ground for their character and find the characters overall objective, discover what they want from the other characters in their scenes, listen to the others in the scene and react in the moment. That’s what an actor does.

      And I repeat. If Luke was told the character he was auditioning for was Jessica’s potential love interest in prison and after the season ended, was told his character is now Laffy’s love interest, the job completely changed, whether it is True Blood and he knew there was nudity and sex in the show or not.

      He was not initially hired to be Laffy’s lover, and I’ll bet he was not told that was a possibility. Why would he think he would have anything to do with Laffy? Laffy wasn’t involved in that storyline. The writers had no idea where they were going until after the season ended. They never have had any over all vision or story arc. They’ve pulled story lines out of their butts every season.

      He was in his rights not to want to play that character. It doesn’t make him unprofessional. And again, if HBO leaked this, THEY are the unprofessional ones and he should sue them.

  41. Dany says:

    That whole thing sounds more like a PR made-up story for the last TrueBlood-season.
    This guy is now filming 50 shades of Trash, right? The movie has a big fandom, as an actor i would quit a TV show too for a movie which could be my big breakthrough. Trash or not, people will go and see this movie. Sounds like a reasonable decision and he was no major series-character. Without this gay-storyline no one would even talk about it.

    P.S. I don´t think he has problems with sexscenes or whatever… someone who willingly plays in TrueBlood and especially 50Shades… it doesn´t go trashier LOL

  42. Megan says:

    If it really was a scheduling conflict, I hope he left for something awesome, because he had a good thing going with TB.

  43. the original rachel says:

    Do you guys remember (or rather, are you old enough to remember?) a storyline on Young and the Restless in the 80′s where Victor and Ashley were having an affair (old Ashley, probably same Victor; haven’t seen it in decades) and they never kissed? Not once. They passionately hugged. Word was the actors hated each other and wouldn’t do it. It made their storyline look re-donk-ulous, with all their passionate hugging and hand shaking. I think they replaced Ashley over it because I think that same guy is on the show and has been for like 50 years. They had zero chemistry. And Ashley was a chemist, if I remember correctly. :)

  44. Vilodemeanus says:

    As an actor is it a good thing or a bad thing that no one notices or cares that you are replaced? Bit part in some fairly schlocky movies or the last season of True Blood, which would be the career move?

  45. Christina says:

    Two things:
    Who wouldn’t want to kiss Lafayette??? He is the best!

    Nathan Parsons is way hotter & a much better actor..so there is no loss!