Producers Defend RISE From LGBT Controversy

Catherine Michelle

January 19, 2018

NBC’s new upcoming musical drama Rise is set to premiere this March 13 – but months before it debuts on our screens, controversy is already looming over the show.

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The series, created by Jason Katims and Jeffret Seller, is based on the book Drama High by Michae Sokolove. The book itself is based on the true story of Lou Volpe, an inspiring high school who reinvigorated the small city of Levittown, PA, through his passion for theater. Lou Volpe was married to a woman until he came to terms with the fact that he is gay.


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Here’s where the issue lies: In the TV series, main character Lou Mazzuchelli (played by HIMYM’s Josh Radnor) is straight.


The choice to take this direction has earned the show a lot of criticism for its ‘LGBTQ+ Erasure’.


Now, the show’s executive producers Jason Katims, Jeffrey Seller, and Flody Suarez have released a joint statement addressing the matter:

“The misinterpretation by some of what we’ve done with this show goes against what we fundamentally believe and who we are as individuals. We are firmly committed to LGBTQ inclusion, and most of all, are excited for the community to see Rise, which we believe portrays positive depictions of LGBTQ characters and stories on broadcast television with honesty and sensitivity. To that end, we worked with GLAAD on the show’s LGBTQ storylines to ensure they are told with respect and authenticity.”


Co-starring on Rise with Josh Radnor are Rosie Perez, Damon Gillespie, and Auli’l Cravalho.