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Bad News for Fans of Mad Men's Sal

Mad_men_sal Grr. Today I am more petulant than usual because it looks like Salvatore Romano's dismissal from Sterling Cooper was also a dismissal from Mad Men for Sal actor Bryan Batt. Word is that when the call to return to work went out, Batt's phone was silent.

Mad_men_sal Because of the very ugly circumstances surrounding Sal's termination from Sterling Cooper, I wasn't anticipating that he would join the new agency that Don, Bert, and Roger started at the end of last season. However, I really didn't think that they were getting rid of the character entirely.

TV Guide Magazine has an ambiguous quote from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner:

“We don’t murder people on our show, but for there to be any stakes, there have to be consequences,” says creator Matthew Weiner, a former Sopranos scribe who has killed at will. Losing Bryan, he says, “was a tough moment for the show, but that’s where we are. I know how people felt about Bryan. I obviously love working with him, and he has been an indelible character since the pilot. But I felt it was an expression of the times that he couldn’t work there anymore. It’s the ultimate case of sexual harassment.”

Well, yeah, we knew that, but this quote doesn't exactly clear up whether Sal is gone for good. TV Guide Magazine doesn't clarify the context of this quote, so it's seems possible that Weiner was just justifying the character's dismissal in the story. I still see a glimmer of hope for the character and hope that even if Sal isn't in the next season, that he'll be back soon.

Aside from the fact that I LOVE Sal and think that Batt does an amazing job, eliminating this social aspect of the show would be doing it a huge disservice. Part of what makes Mad Men so great is the way that it examines the evolution of our society through the lens of advertising and rhetoric. Setting the show in the 1960s wasn't just a way to show off their amazing wardrobe, but was positioning the story arc at a particularly revolutionary time. The roles of women are changing, ideas about youth and relationships are shifting, the cultural identity experiences a breakdown around events like Kennedy's assassination. We already are examining how issues of race and civil rights began to come to the forefront of mainstream (read: white) American consciousness and Sal's extremely complicated life as a talented, married, and closeted homosexual man on the eve of the sexual revolution was poised to be an extremely important aspect of the show.

I can't believe that they would just do away with Sal like that. But if they do, that's REALLY stupid.


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Fairly Odd Mother

I want him to come back too! What a bummer if he's gone for good.


I keep hoping he'll show up somewhere. They put so much weight into that character and plot line I can't believe it just disappears on us.

Washington "I Can Type Over 100 wpm" Cube

I'm sorry if it's true he isn't returning. I was sure once they resolved to set up a new business that he would be on board, the same way I hope Joan is back on the show in a larger role. Sal was so creative and Joan so competent.

Suzy Q

Noooooooooo! I loved Sal, too. However, I don't think this is the last time "Mad Men" will highlight homosexuality in the '60s. Remember the girl who awkwardly professed her love for Joan?

There are a LOT of social issues that can be examined, and are exmained, in the show and sexuality is just one of them.

Can't wait for the next season.

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