'L.A. Complex' Tackles Taboo Topic
The L.A. Complex may be a snarky series revolving around twenty-somethings trying to make it in Hollywood, but the Morning After Pill storyline in the pilot is a perfect example of the deft way Complex talks about tricky topics without getting preachy. Tonight's episode introduces another important issue, thanks to Benjamin Charles Watson's character, Tariq. And for those of you who don't mind a little spoiler, I chatted with the actor about this boundary-crossing storyline.
Insider.com: What is it that you like about Tariq?
Benjamin Charles Watson: He's not the kind of person who will only see one way out when backed into a corner – Tariq is so intelligent that he finds multiple ways to get out of any situation and multiple ways to get what he wants. He always wants more, always wants to strive for more, so when people tell him "No," he won't take that for an answer.
Insider: Last week made it clear that he wants a career in the music industry -- is that what he keeps going after?
Benjamin: Well, sort of. He still wants that career, but from here it's all about a guy trying to find love in this intense and crazy world. You can have an amazing career, but if you don't have someone to share it with, it kind of sucks. So from here, it's all about him trying to find love to share that success with someone.
Insider: Someone from within the complex?
Benjamin: Oh man ... no [laughs]. This starts an amazing and slightly controversial thing because it does not stay within the walls of The Lux. Everyone else kind of does, but I go far outside the walls. It touches another world that people are really hesitant to talk about, but we go there.
Insider: Well, I want to talk about it. Who does he go for?
Benjamin: We're talking about two gay black guys dating. Which is something people don't want to talk about. Everyone thinks that if rappers and hip-hop artists come out, they're going to lose their fanbase – which they might. But that doesn't mean we should avoid talking about it. Yes, it's a touchy subject but I'm just so excited to see what the reaction will be on The CW. In Canada there has been such a positive response, but I'm curious to see what Americans think.
Insider: Why is it important to you to bring this storyline to life?
Benjamin: Right now, you've got a lot of celebrities coming out and the It Gets Better movement – I'm just hoping that we can touch the hip-hop world and give them a voice. I hate the expression "down low" but I'm hoping that we can get the hip-hop world talking about this phenomenon. I don't think this show is going to make anyone come out, but I'd like to crack the door open a little bit because I'm all for equal rights and think people should be able to live their life however they want. It's stupid that we're stuck in this weird, closeted age.
The L.A. Complex airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.