'Pretty Little Liars' Showrunner Got More Pushback Over Emily Being Gay Than Anything Else

'Pretty Little Liars' Showrunner Got More Pushback Over Emily Being Gay Than Anything Else

Pretty Little Liars had its share of boundary pushing storylines throughout the seven season run.

There was Charlotte being transgender, a sort of implied incest storyline with Jenna and Toby, and we can’t forget about Aria and Ezra’s relationship — we mean, it was statutory rape.

“It was such a big part of Sara [Shepard]’s first book, and that book became the pilot, so we just sort of owned it,” showrunner I. Marlene King shared in a recent interview with NY Times.

“I wanted to be true to the characters that Sara created, and it was the biggest part of Aria’s story. It is what it is.”

But those storylines weren’t the biggest ones that she got pushback on — it was Emily Fields being gay!

“ABC Family was really a conservative channel, spun out of the Christian Broadcast Network,” she shared, “and so, yeah, I got a lot of angry letters from conservative Christian moms who couldn’t believe that two girls kissed in the pilot.”

“They didn’t care that Aria and her teacher were making out — they cared about two girls kissing. It says a lot about our society, for sure.”

However, Emily’s coming out and relationships were really important to tell, especially to Marlene.

Click inside to find out why…

“It was important to me,” Marlene says. “There were two things I wanted to establish in the show and maintain as a recurring theme.”

“One was, these girls — at the time they were girls, then they became young women — are going to be unconditional friends no matter what. It was a great opportunity to model what friendship looks like, and women treating women positively.”

“Equally important to me was that Emily is a Pretty Little Liar, just like the rest of the characters,” Marlene continues. “She just so happens to be gay. And when she comes out to these characters, they are going to accept her unconditionally.”

It was an important moment in the show, one that some tend to forget.

“I’m still very proud of that. I’ve gotten so many letters about what a positive influence this show has been on their lives.”

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Photos: Freeform
Posted to: Marlene King, Pretty Little Liars, Shay Mitchell, Television
  • Sara

    I just love knowing that statutory rape is more accepted than lesbians (: