What was once celebrated as two men's groundbreaking journey towards a relationship has quickly become a descent into suspicions and allegations. Critically acclaimed One Life to Live stars Brett Claywell (Kyle Lewis) and Scott Evans (Oliver Fish) have been the subjects of much discussion since it was announced last week that they'd been let go from One Life to Live. Unfortunately, not all of the discussion has been positive.
While fans were still stinging from claims that the actors' storyline was cut because "mainstream" viewers weren't keen on seeing a storyline involving gay characters, One Life to Live was being feted by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation as its choice for Outstanding Daily Drama. Amid the pomp and circumstance, rumors surfaced about the "real" reason One Life to Live ditched its Kish storyline.
The allegations first surfaced last week in Nelson Branco's Soapgeist column for TVGuide Canada. Citing anonymous show sources, Branco relayed claims that the end of Kish storyline was not brought about by viewers not wanting to watch a gay storyline, but rather by the two stars acting unprofessionally on the set.
Now, Claywell is sounding off on the rumors that he and Evans were fired for performance issues. In a new interview with Sara Bibel for her Deep Soap site, Claywell vehemently denies the allegations.
"Scott informed me of [Branco's column] yesterday. It's amazing to me that two people can put so much of their heart into a story that can be so passionate and serious and tell a story as honestly and as truthfully as we tried to and just open our hearts to the world and just try to make a difference, try and touch people and stories like this will come out that are absolutely, 100% false," Claywell stated. "I'd love for anyone to watch one day of any of the work we've done and tell me that Scott and I were not 100% committed to what we were doing. We were so dedicated to our work. It's hurtful. I'm really offended that someone would make completely false claims. I'm angry. It's slander."
Claywell further argues that had he and Evans acted as alleged, they more than likely would not have received Emmy pre-nominations this year. Claywell received an Outstanding Supporting Actor pre-nod and Evans picked up one in the Younger Actor field.
ABC does not comment on personnel matters, but the network did issue a previous statement indicating that Claywell and Evans' exits were dictated by story -- and that the "Kish" storyline could be revisited at some point in the future. Claywell cedes that his recent on-screen time had dwindled in recent weeks.
Evans, meanwhile, has not commented publicly on the matter. He has made one statement via Twitter, remarking, "Such a bummer what all of this is turning into. I will continue to respect the decision but will remain unhappy with the tactics."
Per site policy that bars the discussion of actors' personal matters, Soap Central did not initially report on the matter. The decision to cover the story was made only after the performers involved issued statements.
Fans remain committed to the Kish story. Some are planning letter-writing campaigns and others are drafting petitions to get the network to reconsider its decision.