"Melrose Place" question: Why did we never see Matt kiss a guy?

We saw all the other characters make out on camera, typically to the accompaniment of hot electric-guitar licks. Matt Fielding was gay, and not celibate – he had several boyfriends in the series – but I can’t recall ever seeing him kiss one. The most they ever did was hug in a brotherly way. Why was that?

Matt was gay on TV. Gays on TV don’t have sexual relationships. Their job is to be fashionable, or sometimes victims of homophobia, and also to be the main character’s friend so we can see how progressive the main character is in having gay friends.

Possible loss of sponsors?

The fact that they even had a gay main character was rather cutting-edge at the time, wasn’t it? Melrose Place was definitely a show rife with gay almost-kisses. I think the fact that there was any gay chemistry between Matt and another character was pretty impressive for the early 90s.

There was one scene in particular I remember, I believe earlier in the show, maybe second season, where Matt is in the courtyard showing affection for another man while another character watches through a window as the affections escalate. I heard they actually filmed the kiss, but then had it cut in editing, before the show ever made it to production.

ETA: Just realized the show kept running through 1999. Mostly I’m referring to the first 4 seasons, which were the only ones I’ve watched.

As Algorithm mentioned, just having a gay character in those days was considered cutting edge, but they were still pretty squeamish about showing an actual kiss. I remember it was a big deal when Mariel Hemingway and Roseanne kissed on her show - some stations even had a disclaimer about it, or refused to show it outright - and they weren’t even really supposed to be gay.
Even nowadays, how often do you see gay characters kiss on TV?
I also remember the scene Algorithm mentioned. Billy was watching them out the window, and right before Matt and his boyfriend touched lips the camera cut away and IIRC they just showed their legs getting close.

I didn’t watch Melrose Place, but I think things changed pretty suddenly around, maybe 1999/2000 regarding same sex kissing on TV. In the fourth season of Buffy, Willow and her girlfriend Tara have a scene where they are obviously kissing just offscreen. That was in…2000, I think. In the next season, they do kiss onscreen, and a couple seasons later, Willow has an actual sex scene with her new girlfriend that everyone hates. Considering just three years earlier they couldn’t even get away with an onscreen lesbian kiss, that’s pretty rapid change in acceptability.

I’d guess it’s probably slower change for male/male kissing or displays of affection, though. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, except on Queer as Folk or Sex in the City. But I don’t watch a lot of TV, so I don’t know.

Battlestar Galactica did. Though come to think of it, I think that was in a webisode, not broadcast, so maybe it doesn’t count.

Felix? I know they somewhat alluded to his orientation on the show, but it was never explicit. I didn’t watch all the webisodes, and the only reason I knew he was gay is from reading the forums here.

“Brothers and Sisters” has a married gay couple. I’m sure they kissed on the wedding episode, and I believe they have at other times as well. AFAICT, they’re playing the relationship as “straight” as they can - no campy jokes or anything.

spoilering, since putting anything unspoilered about BSG will bring down some kind of protest:

Felix and Hoshi? Strictly in the webisodes. If you went just by the TV episodes, you wouldn’t suspect Hoshi is anything but a friend of Felix’s.

ISTR an Eight kissing a Six on a Basestar though. Or maybe I dreamed that.

You skipped the levitation-inducing oral sex in “Once More With Feeling.”

There is a difference between being gay and being gay and doing something about it.

Even in real life, I have noticed some people have no issue with gay people, untill they see a man holding hands with another man or kiss one.

I’ve seen people have no issues with gay people but if you bring a same sex partner to a party, it is awkward.

Gay kisses on TV are not the norm, and they don’t need to be pushed because of the Internet. I mean if people want to watch that, the Internet can give you your fill of it.

The problem with TV is they always view gay dating and gay relationships as the same as straight one, just substitution a man and a man (or woman and woman) for a man and a women, and it isn’t like that in real life. I am a gay male and it’s not the same thing. I’m not saying one is bad and one is good, I’m saying it’s not a simple case of substitution

Might have been (or more likely, a Six and a Three), but female-female kisses are usually fanservice to straight male fans, not an attempt to portray a realistic relationship. The webisode scene, though, was two men kissing just because they were in a relationship, and it was a natural moment for two people in a relationship to kiss.

Well, for those that are interested, they had a lesbian kiss on Melrose tonight. A pretty long one too.

They just didn’t have the guts. Plus while heteros are basically screwing on screen and the lesbian kiss has become a sweeps week staple, guy-on-guy is still not mainstream (unless it’s played for laughs, like on Friends). Women’s quasi-sexuality not being threatening, no real lesbians, etc. etc.

According to the actors’ Wikipedia page

The lamest bit for me wasn’t just that he couldn’t have a real, on-screen relationship on par with the other characters’ (not to mention those having affairs or attempting rape), it was that his character sucked. He was boring. It’s like the characters couldn’t figure out what gay guys do except listen to other people’s problems or file discrimination suits. I think the entire gay community would have been happier had he been a maniacal, sex-crazed bastard.