Is Uncle Saul ready to leave Brothers & Sisters?
I wondered aloud a few weeks ago whether this would be the final season for ABC’s Brothers & Sisters and if anyone would care.
Plenty of readers wrote to say that they still love the show and that it has plenty of steam left. But actor Ron Rifkin, who plays Uncle Saul – a gay man who we learned in the season finale is HIV positive – already seems to be over it.
In a new interview with The Advocate he says of this possibly being the show’s last season: “I really don’t know that I can speak to that, but I think for me it would be if it was to go on. I think for me it would be. If they made it more interesting for me, of course, I would definitely consider it, but as it’s moving along now, I don’t see me being interested enough to go on with the show.
On Uncle Saul’s AIDS storyline: “Lately I feel the writers have — the character… I shouldn’t be saying this… but the character has become sort of peripheral over the last couple of years, and not as involved as he was the first two or three years. It’s been a frustrating struggle for me. It’s really been hard for me. And then, with the reveal of the AIDS thing, I thought, well… maybe they’ll get into it, but it doesn’t seem to be what they’re interested in.”
On censoring Saul’s storyline: “I think the network really dictates what can and can’t be done. One of the brilliant things about Robby Baitz is that he writes like no one else. The first year of Brothers & Sisters, the writing was quite different. The storylines were quite different, and I think he ran into problems with the network. It’s something, obviously, I’m being cautious about. But it’s hard on network television, obviously, because they’re dictating to what they think is the audience for the show, and I just don’t think they give enough credit to people who are out there. It’s complicated to have a 71 year old gay guy on television come out… not only to come out, and people can go, “Oooooh, he’s gay”… and then to have him have AIDS… “Ooooh.” But it exists. It’s important.”