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So Long, Sal.

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Ah shit.

No more Sal, kittens:

"According to Mad Men's Bryan Batt — who stars as Sal Romano, Sterling Cooper's closeted art director, fired by Don after refusing to service a randy tobacco executive — he won't return for the show's upcoming fourth season. "I was supposed to be notified by December 31," he tells TV Guide, "and nothing." Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner makes it sound even more dire: "We don’t murder people on our show, but for there to be any stakes, there have to be consequences ... 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."A little birdie told us about this months ago but we didn't want to publish it without confirmation and no one was confirming it. This truly blows. In three very short seasons (and really, only a little more than a dozen or so appearances) Sal Romano quickly became one of the most important gay characters in the history of television and Bryan Batt gave one of, if not, the most sensitive and nuanced portrayals of the agony of the closet for people of a less enlightened time. Of any time, really. Despite the sadness in the character, Batt and the writers gave him a wit and a sass that made him eminently watchable. We the 21st Century viewers could tell from 50 feet that he was gay, but his co-workers and even his poor wife were clueless about it. Unsurprisingly, Sal became one of the more popular of the characters on the show.

We really hate the idea of this, but if we're being honest with ourselves, we have to admit on some level we understand Matthew Weiner's explanation for it. If the show really places importance on things like verisimilitude and accuracy to the period, not to mention a natural aversion to melodrama, then having Sal's story end here makes a certain amount of sense. He was never going to get a happy ending and men like him, who were somehow caught out on the job, found their lives ruined. We don't support the idea of his absence from the show and we sure as hell don't like it, but we can understand it because in a way, it's historically accurate. It's appropriate. The likelihood of a guy in Sal's situation being rehired by former co-workers at that time was very, very slim.

But shit, it still really blows. What was great about Sal was that he really did provide a huge audience an education in gay history, something many of those people were not likely to have ever been exposed to. Better yet, because of good writing and fantastic acting, the overwhelming response to the character was sympathetic. That's a major feat. We can all applaud Ellen and Will & Grace for kicking down doors (and deservedly so), but no character or actor has ever really tackled the issue of being gay, the real nuts and bolts of it, and how it affects one's life as well as this one did.

We grabbed a hold of our little birdie and asked them if they'd pass a question along to Bryan. This story just broke and we didn't want to hassle him for an interview, so one good meaty question was all we had time for. He's such a sweetie, we got a response almost immediately. Here it is:

"We're heartbroken at the prospect of one of the best, most complicated, most talked-about gay characters in the history of television disappearing from our screens. Do you think Sal changed anything for gay portrayals going forward? Is there a Sal Romano legacy?

I think Sal is a deeply and honestly written character and because of the constrictive prejudices of his time, he is forced to live a lie. It is sad but painfully true that millions of men and women throughout history have had to deny their basic core feelings and physical attractions...even sadder is the fact it continues today. I believe he reminds us of the struggles and indignities gay people have endured and continue to do so now. Sal's legacy is not just that he is the first of his kind on television, but through his story many younger generations realize how far the movement has come, but more so how we need to progress. I do hope this is not the very end for Sal as I have loved every moment portraying him, roles so great are a rare and treasured gift."

You know, we hope it isn't either. Nothing's set in stone on this show and you never know what direction Weiner and the writers are going to go. If there's enough of a backlash against the idea...who knows?

Until then, we're going to imagine Sal at the Stonewall, screaming at the cops along with the drag queens and finding some sort of peace with himself. It probably wouldn't have happened that way, but now we have the luxury of writing our own ending.



[Photos: Courtesy of amctv.com]



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86 comments:

Thoughtfully well written, TLo! I'm sorry I haven't watched much of Mad Men, what I've seen has been enlightening of the time & society. Best wishes to this actor!


I'm sad to see him go too, but perhaps his story will sort of continue parallel to Mad Men and the two will cross again. Maybe he'll become an amazing director and will work with the crew once or twice in the future? Reaching, I know, but it's nice to think about.

Sal was beautifully portrayed. I'll miss him.


I give a fuck. I'm, a straight woman who has a fairly good grasp of gay history and still learned plenty from Bryan Batt and Sal Romano. He was and is important and his absence will be deeply felt.


This is terrible news! I found Sal's story riveting. I understand what Weiner is saying, but just because Sal couldn't come back to SC, or now Draper & Company, doesn't mean there couldn't be away to keep him in the show. He is still in the industry. He could be at another agency that is competing with them. Betty will surely still be around somehow.

I guess that means all the others not cherry picked for the new agency are gone now - Paul, Kenny, Smitty, etc. At least they better be because I'd rather see Sal than any of them.

Best of luck to Bryan Batt - he is very talented and I look foward to seeing him in other shows/movies.


I would like to see an episode where Don encounters Sal leading a new, happy, productive, healthy life, with a great job.


I'm with the realism angle. Sal could not work at SC again, with people who Know. He has a future, but in a different art director position, and hey, he may be the key to a competitor's firm beating out the new incarnation of SC.


I think as viewers once Joan was brought back, we got our hopes up that somehow Sal would reappear as well. He was a great character and Bryan is a wonderful actor. Since its unlikely to see Sal again, I will be on the lookout for Bryan.


Nooooo!


This makes me so, so sad. I understand the show focuses the ad agency and the Drapers and that Sal left that world, but I just wanted to know what happens to him. Not necessarily to see a happy ending (which of course I would have loved), but just to see him continuing to live and develop. I learned so much from Sal, I loved him, and I'll miss the character and the wonderful actor, Bryan Batt!


As others have suggested, not impossible to have Sal come back, but definitely not at Don's firm.

I could certainly see him awkwardly finding that he has to attend a meeting since his new job has him working as art director at a firm that needs the ad agency's help with a large advertising project.... nothing is impossible


Devastating news. I'm clinging to the hope that you provided, that nothing is set in stone in this show. Long live Sal!


This makes me so, so sad. I'm a straight woman as well and I was deeply sympathetic to Sal's character and situation. He was so so talented, and the moment where he was in the hotel room with the busboy and he said "Oh, Jesus" was one of the most genuine moments of the show. I understand Matthew's reasons, but I can't help but hope this is all just an elaborate hoax to surprise viewers. Besides, there are a few more seasons left... I hope we haven't lost Sal.


i'm not dorothy gale

I loved the actor AND the character. I knew a "Sal" in the office in "Mad Men Days" and was aware of his struggle trying to "pass" as a married guy. He had the same haunted eyes as Sal. Bryan Batt was a wonder; best of luck to him.

And thanks to TLo for this.


This IS terribly sad. At the same time, I have to agree with Weiner's view that to have any kind of verisimilitude, there is just not going to be the kind of enlightenment on the part of all the major characters that we would LIKE to see, that they would say, "Hey, what DIFFERENCE does it make?" Instead, we're going to get the nasty "You PEOPLE," from Don, who of all people should have some empathy for someone attempting to live a lie. That IS the way it was.

However, if there is to be verisimilitude to the time period, then going forward, there WILL be other gay characters, and the main characters will have to deal with the fact that homosexuality DOES exist, whether they want to deal with it or not. So I think to be true to the period, even if Sal is gone, the issue hardly goes away. And I do hope they revisit Sal as a side story – being present at Stonewall or whatever – just as I hope they revisit Betty (as much as I'd like to slap her silly) finally reading The Second Sex or The Feminine Mystique. We just have to remember that however depressing the realities of that time period were, they WERE just the start of everything being seen very, very differently. We're just beginning to get to the point of this series NOT being about '50s conformity – that has just been the groundwork – but about some major change in thought.

All that said, I really, really will miss Sal. How sad that just at the moment Sterling Cooper goes from staid to cutting edge, Sal has been sacrificed. Yet I think it's very, very realistic. Just remember, everything is going to change, though in fits and starts.


I think I'll just think of Sal fighting the good fight until one day...he hears a rumor about this haven, this paradise of freedom, this little bitty spot called "The Castro" out in San Francisco, and I'll picture him having drinks with Harvey and the gang, and plotting the revolution...

Artfully, of course.


Thank you for your thoughtful, insightful post. I will continue to hope that Sal can in some way come back on the show working for a competing firm in this or a future season. I also hope that Bryan Batt gets a starring role in a show (tv or Broadway) of his very own. I am right there with you in thinking he was at Stonewall with the leathermen and the drag queens fighting the back against the police! PasGuy1965


Wow. What a bummer. I'm hoping that he'll reappear later in Season 4 or in another season down the road. The ad world seems like a pretty small one so I hope that Sal crosses paths with someone on the show in the future.

Thanks for a beautiful job, Bryan! Let us know what you're up to next. xoxo


Whew! For a moment, I had a sinking feeling that Bryan Batt had died--so glad I'm wrong!
I will miss Sal so much. We all "got him" (we gay men within nanoseconds), and his storyline was so touching. He's not merely an important character historically, his conflicted story is the stuff of great drama. It's sad to see him go, but I agree with Matthew Weiner, it is realistic. Don Draper isn't going to put business sense above the revulsion he feels toward what he witnessed.


This is so, so sad. UGH. I was really hoping for a happy ending for Sal (or at least an exploration of gay love when it has to be on the DL). SO NOT FAIR. Screw authenticity, I want my Sal back!


So sad. Sal was a wonderful character and Batt really did him justice, acting him to perfection.

Matt Weiner is absolutely right, though, and I respect the show's dedication to staying faithful to the times and how people would truly act, no matter how much we want them to wake the fuck up and be more enlightened. Just not going to happen. But still, he was one of my favorite characters and I'm really sorry to see him go.

Hopefully he'll turn up on the show again someday.


son of a BITCH! Bryan's portrayal was AMAZING.


So sad-- I really enjoyed the character and the actor.

Kudos for the fabulous blog entry.


Heartbroken. We want Sal back!


Saw this online tonight and almost wept. My Sunday night summer satisfaction won't be the same without good ole Sal. He will be missed!


In other news related to Mad Men....Ken Cosgrove will return. Meh, I want Sal.


Like many other fans of MM I was hoping Sal would resurface in the finale. However, I understand their decision to go with a more realistic end to his story. Then again, maybe it's not the true end to his story. The last scene I recall seeing Sal in was his using a pay phone in what looked like a sordid part of town or the wrong side of the tracks (which made me really sad at the time and fearful of his future, but I got the subtle implication). Ideally, I'd love to see Sal's path cross either Don's or Roger's in another season and I hope he'll be doing well. Sal's story and character will most definitely be missed. Thanks for the excellent tribute and update.


edina


Yes, I agree they wouldn't have rehired him, but that doesn't mean the only other alternative is a quick death in an alley. He'll probably end up *somewhere* doing *something* and as such could reappear on the show, even if not as a fellow employee working alongside Peggy, Joan, etc.


Well, darn it. Yes, I get it, but there's so much upcoming history that would be so great with Sal's character.

Well, maybe he'll back in Season Four.

So, Ken Cosgrove will be around--but, of course, someone has to torment Peter.


What? Ken's going to stay on the show? He didn't even have a story line last season. Yes, the competition with Pete, but let's face it that was all about Pete.
They should have lost Ken and kept Sal. Sal's story is much more interesting.

I'll miss Bryan Batt on Mad Men, but he is so talented that I'm sure I'll be seeing him in another show soon.


His story line was one of several that are/were emotionally gut-wrenching to watch. That's the power of this show's writing. Really, that *is* why he had to disappear or unbalance the show by showing him entering a struggle against a downward spiral that would move his story line from gut-wrenching to heart-wrenching.


yeah, I don't care about quite so much accuracy--I was pissed when he got fired and I'm extra pissed now that they aren't bringing him back.


I'm devastated. What a loss. Yes, I understand it, but it hurts! I will miss that character and have missed that character and Batt's beautifully layered performance. It was hard to watch his struggle without screaming at the screen, but that's just evidence of how good it was.

Sad...


I think it's amazing how much an ensemble character affected us. We loved Sal, and Batt's performance was truly amazing. I'm so sad to see that he won't be on anymore. He will be missed. But we look forward to seeing Batt again.


I will miss Sal. And I *really* wish they'd have found a way to continue his storyline.

damn



Good luck Bryan Batt, you played Sal Romano so well that MM viewers will never forget you.


NO! They can't do this! The last scene with Sal is of him calling his wife from the "park" and they just leave us with that?! This is tragic. I had sincerely thought that he'll be coming back and joining the old gang.

I know Donald Draper is just a character and Jon Hamm is just an actor portraying Donald Draper, but I can't help feeling upset everytime I see Jon's face and being reminded of all of Draper's infidelities and the fact he dismissed Sal that way. The look on Sal's face as Draper said "you people" fairly broke my heart.


Well, it's sad to see Sal go as a character. It's sad to know that Bryan will not be plying his awesome talents in such well written episodes.

Of course, he's such a talented actor, Bryan Bratt will have much success and we'll see him for sure playing other roles...perhaps someday one so great we say, "Sal who?"


I want to say something intelligent, but all that comes out is, nooooo! That's such terrible news. Although I understand why Sal can't return to his job, I'm more upset that his character was never given proper closure. We basically have to say goodbye at the very START of his self-discovery, and that fucking hurts.


Nooooooooo! Nooooooooo! Not only do I love Sal, but I also love Kitty. Their interactions, while painful, are also sweet and poignant. He obviously loves her; just not the way she should be loved. I respect Matthew Weiner's rationale and it does make sense, but all I can say is nooooooooo!


very sad to see Sal go. It was a great character and a great storyline within MM. I remember when they finally did an episode that really centered on Sal's life, I thought to myself "finally! we get to see what's going on with him!"

BB played this to a tee.


We the 21st Century viewers could tell from 50 feet that he was gay, but his co-workers and even his poor wife were clueless about it.

That was one of the ways in which this character was so compelling: we got to see him through the eyes of those in that time period, as well as from our own eyes. They saw what they expected to see: a straight man, despite all evidence to the contrary. And Sal tried so hard...

I will miss Sal incredibly. He was absolutely my favorite character. Sal's journey was exquisitely portrayed by Bryan Batt. I wish him well and will look for him in other projects.

Honestly, I understand Weiner's point of view, and from a storytelling perspective, I agree with his decision not to tie up everything in a neat bow: leaving we viewers (and the characters) to wrestle with "What ever happened to Sal?" is a smart and powerful decision.

Still...I miss you, Sal!!!!!


I understand the rationale, but I will still miss him. Not just for the gay angle, though that was fascinating and beautifully acted, but also enjoyed the insights into his Italian background, his wit, his creativity and his cooking. And he was one of the few characters on the show who was NICE through and through.

As for Ken coming back, I'm pleased about that. I LOVED his relentlessly cheerful and optimistic nature - such a good counterpoint to all the sturm and drang going on around him.


Thanks so much for blogging about this important issue!

I started watching Mad Med during the 3rd season because of Project Rungay and other blogs, and I'm now catching up on seasons 1 and 2 on DVD.

In season 1, Sal says he hopes to head up his own ad agency some day, where the artwork directs the copy and not the other way around. we can fantasize that he gets to do that now.


I understand if Weiner is going in a different direction this next season, but I don't see why Sal's storyline should be dropped so abruptly. I just pray Bryan Batt will be back next season. This makes no sense. They're not going to focus on only the people who crossed over to the new agency: I'm sure Betty Draper and her new life will be explored. Sal's storyline of 50's oppression (the gay variety) and his character's arc is really the only exploration of a gay story on the show (no matter how much we all liked Kurt). To see the last of Sal Romano (a character beautifully, poignantly, written and portrayed so masterfully) talking on the phone before walking into the Rambles is a shame. Gays say "Boo". Furthermore, everyone posts how it's realistic Sal losing everything over his homosexuality; but unless I'm mistaken he still hasn't been outed. I'm pretty sure Don demanded he get the client back no matter what it took, but it was Roger (wasn't it?) who actually fired him and it was for losing the client, not for lack of sleeping with said client. He lost his job, but he's an entitled white male in business. He'd simply move on to the next venture and do as well there as anywhere. Am I wrong on this?


I hate that Sal's gone. My first thought when the team splintered was "Great! They can hire Sal back!" I like the idea that perhaps Sal will make enough if a name for himself as a director that the team will work with him.


I understand that people want him to show up at a new agency, with a director's job and just lead a healthy new life as an out man, but realistically, what happened to the guy is that word got around and he was fired from agency after agency once they found out.

I can see a scene where Don Draper's in a bar and sees Sal having dinner with guys from a new agency, maybe interviewing, and he goes over to the table and calls the big guy away, and when the guy gets back to the table he just tells everybody dinner's over.

Sad.


It actually was Don who fired him, with some (but not nearly enough) regret. Harsh? Hell, yes. True to the time? Yes.

I agree that Sal should not be gone from the series, however. There has to be a place for his story, even if he's not with SCDP.

FYI, I've started a "Bring Back Sal Romano" page on Facebook. I'm sure we're not the only ones.


I'm sad.

Yes, it's dramatically the right thing, but I'll miss Sal.

I shall be looking for anything that Bryan Batt appears in in the future. I was not familiar with his work before Mad Men, and I am truly impressed with his work.


I know. I read the news yesterday on E!. So depressing but I guess realistic, and that's what Weiner is going for. I hope we see Batt in other great roles. And you never know - we may catch a glimpse of him again on MM.


I knew it was hard for one of my uncles who grew up in the 50s and 60s, but I didn't know how difficult it was until Brian's portrayal of Sal gave me a glimpse of the true human cost of needing to deny who you are.


I was hoping against hope that the writers would somehow manage to bring him back to the agency, but in my heart I knew that it probably wouldn't happen. I loved Sal, and Bryan Batt is just adorable and such a good actor. I hope he has another project soon. I'll watch anything he's on!


*Sniff* This blows.

But I wonder if they will introduce some kind of replacement/foil character for Sal in the coming seasons.


Sad news .... liked both the character and the actor ...

But, like Joss Whedon, Matt Weiner understands that life is not happy endings, and people you care about disappear ...

Shit happens ... then and now ...

And not to be a bitter jaded queen, I thought this was OLD NEWS ... that came out when the character was fired ...

Maybe no official confirmation, but there were numerous writeups at the time that the character arc was OVER for Sal ...

I mean, this did happen at the beginning of the season ...

And the end of the season was another BIG shake up that the world was changing ... both inside and outside the agency ...

I just can get my pantys in a wad over this new? "news" cause it just seems old and tired, just like me ...

Just sayin bitterly and cynically-


Bryan Batt is the reason I started watching the show, plain and simple. Verisimilitude be damned; I'm still pissed.

Ms_flyover


He's written a book, by the way. It's coming out in May.

From his website: Bryan has written a memoir of his childhood growing up in New Orleans. It's called "She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother" and it will be released May 4, 2010. You can pre-order it on Amazon.com now.


Wait WHAT??? Kurt's openly gay and he gets to keep his job. What the hell?

So pissed off right now.


P.S. Yes, I know there's a huge difference between the weirdo Euro guy making odd comments that can be chalked up to a problem in translation, and an important client accusing an employee of sexual misconduct. But GAH!


noooooooo!!! I just recently started watching the show and through the magic of free-on-demand I've been greedily watching any past episodes available. I love Sal and Joan. They are by far my favorites. I'm so disappointed. I thought the forming of a new ad firm was going to be a way to reintroduce him to the show. I guess not.


I can't say I'm really surprised, but I am most definitely sad. I will miss Sal. The way things ended, with Lucky Strike being such a big part of the new company, I had a feeling this would be the case. I do think it's true to the historical period, but that somehow doesn't make me feel any better.


C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

I'm with dialmformichele and those who bemoan the lack of closure on this fantastic, nuanced, and very meaty character.

What I'm disappointed about is that Mad Men has tackled some tough subjects (Peggy's pregnancy, Joan being raped by her fiance, and Don being the jackass we all love) without it being your typical network melodrama, and I wanted that for Sal too.

Sure, Ellen and Will & Grace opened doors, but the main characters were largely sexless. At least Sal got some snog time with a bellhop.

For me, Sal didn't need to have a happy ending, but the complexity of the character and Sal being portrayed by an actor who could pull off the nuances of someone "passing" - that's once in lifetime.

I'm sad about this, and I hope this does not foreshadow what will happen to other characters if Matt Weiner gets bored or just doesn't want to 'go there' with them.


I understand the story logic behind not bringing him back as a regular, but I would like to see him again if only to find out what happened to him eventually. Even if it's something sad, I think he deserves a better final scene than a call to his wife from a payphone.


I will miss Sal Romano fiercely. I've loved him since he showed that sketch of the man sunning himself to Don, and pretended to be thrilled to have the opportunity to add a girl when Don requested it. He broke my heart, and what happened to his career at Sterling Cooper broke my heart and infuriated me, but it made sense, just as his not being rehired by Don makes sense. It doesn't make me happy, but it makes sense. I've worked places, in the `90s and even the last decade, where hard-working gay men are passed over for promotions, where qualified gay women are ignored when a job opportunity arises, and I've seen management make it clear that their being gay, even if they're not out, is the reason why. I've watched young gay men struggle with outing themselves to their conservative families, the worst being the ones when their parents are trying to marry them to girls from the old country, and they can't think of how to keep their parents' and family's love while being honest about who they are. Like for women in the workplace, things have changed for the gay/bi/transgender community, but not nearly enough. Not by a longshot. I'll miss Sal, but I hope that these past three seasons have put Bryan Batt in directors' and casting agents' minds and that we'll be seeing lots more of him in the future, as he is a brilliant actor and I wish him very well.


finding out about this and reading your post just about brought me to tears.

i understand the desire to keep things as realistic as possible, but i still find this devastating. sal is such an incredible character, portrayed beautifully and perfectly by bryan batt. he will be a very much missed presence on the show.

i really hope this isn't the end for him on this show. there must be some way to bring him back.


I really didn't think Sal would come back to SCDP, but I was hoping that he would pop up here and there anyway--like how Joan was a salesgirl. Although we think of ourselves as living in an enlightened time, people still live every day like Sal. I hope to see more mainstream tv/film characterizations like this to be more reflective of the closet.

I can't wait to see Bryan in his next endeavour. He is an amazing actor.

(Oh no, there's another Amanda commenting! I'm going to have an identity crisis.)


Beautiful send-off, TLo.

Along with others, I hope they find a way to have Sal back on the show, even as a guest spot or two. I would love to find out how it turns out for Sal! I love your idea of Sal at the Stonewall. Makes me cry.

And good luck to Bryan, as well.


i want to cry. i was holding out hope that we would see sal again. he was one of my favorites. i really hope the writers find a way to visit with his character again, if not permanently, then at least to give us a glimpse. bryan batt was absolutely brilliant in this role & it was so wonderfully crafted. ugh - this just breaks my heart :(


I am crushed by this news. I'm a straight woman, but Sal was my favorite character from Episode 1, largely due to Bryan Batt's skillful an dnuanced portrayal of him. I don't understand or agree with the decision to drop the character. Sal's story was just beginning -- there was so much more Weiner could have done with the character. I hope Weiner changes his mind and finds a way to incorporate the character in the upcoming season and beyond.


I am SO sad to learn of this! I was so sure they'd bring him back. They aren't at SC anymore. It's a new day, and Sal could be there now.

I saw Sal as a parallel story, similar to Don's, that dealt with secrets, sexuality, fear and loss. That Don knew about him was a great tension since they both have devastating secrets.

Watching Sal come to realize his desires was so riveting and Bryan did a truly astounding job of showing how someone who is so obviously gay so us, could be so frightened and relieved to find that out. That scene with the bellhop was intensely memorable for that very reason. I wanted to see more.

But look at me, going on! I'll save these words for Matt Weiner.

Bring back BRYAN, that's my cry!!


Well fuck.
That blows.

Hopefully in a distant ep Don or Joan or Peggy will go to San Fran and run into Sal who is now the art director at a funky upstart California advertising firm.
Or he ends up in Hollywood working in films as an art director.

That's my story.


Don't understand why Sal has to be off the show just because he isn't working at SCDP. Even just a brief scene in the series finale just to see where one of the original Mad Men ended up...


I won't be surprised if he turns up somewhere, but I am bummed to hear he is gone for now. I was worried that something bad would happen to him based on the last scene. Kitty was also great!


I agree with everything you've said, but let's also not forget that Sal has been the speaker of some of the best one-liners on the show (especially during the first season). He was so dry and wry and wonderful, especially around the young upstarts like Pete and Harry. He brought a lot to the character and will absolutely be missed.


Ug....depressing. I loved Sal. I got my parents into the show and they loved Sal. :-( Here's to hoping he shows up again somewhere!


This really makes me sad. As I've been going through the show's episodes, I've found that I hate most of the characters. But Sal has always really stood out to me and I love him and root for him and his happiness. I'm really disappointed that he won't be coming back even though I understand why. I want to imagine a happy ending for Sal, as unlikely as that may be. And a big thanks to Brian Batt for doing such an amazing job portraying this character, he is an awesome actor as well as an incredibly awesome person.


Damn Weiner for leaving him in the park trolling for ass without so much as a goodbye! At least wrap his storyline up properly!


Sorry, but I have to call bullshit on Weiner on this one. Are you telling me that there wasn't some way to artfully work Sal back into the picture? *Really*??

This is storytelling. The rationale could've been worked into it. The writers they hire for this show are masterful. You're telling me there was no way to create plausibility for Sal to be working at a competitive agency? Sorry: bullshit.

This character was portrayed with such power, he was a big part of the emotional landscape. I'm extremely disappointed.

I'll still watch. But I'm not buying this line.


I moved to San Francisco in 19070. I was 18 years old. The young lady I became best friends with told me that her father just started living with his boyfriend in the Pacific Northwest. He was breaking loose from his false life of a married man (my friend said that he only had sex with her mom twice, producing her and her brother) and becoming how he really should be. I got the impression that his new life was a success. This was just a few years from the time frame currently being shown on Mad Men. Things changed quickly during this period. I feel that Sal, who was trapped during this period with old mind sets, was luckily moving into a new era, and he too would break free and become who he really is.


It's true that the gay professional man was invisible during this period. My mother worked with a guy "like that" in the 1950s--I think his coworkers knew (she did), but it was not overt or specific. BTW he was not married, but often escorted the ladies to social events.

It would have been nice if they could have kept Sal as a recurring character and shown what his life was like after he left the company. It might have been sad for awhile, but he might also have found a place in a more artistic environment where gays could be more comfortable.

(My mother worked for Dupont. Her father hired the first Jewish engineer to work at the company, which was a big deal, if you can believe it. I think that was in the '40s. By the 1970s, Dupont had a Jewish CEO.)


Did you guys go to the New Yorker link and see this plea from Bryan?

"" Then he put out a call to supporters: "Keep those cards and letters coming. Start that Facebook group! There's a million ways that he can come back, especially if time passes. Don does respect his talent. He is innocent. He did nothing wrong. Of course I would love to come back. It's a heavenly place to work."


Great post, guys! I loved his character.


quigley (the cat)

Along with everyone else, I will miss Sal a lot. Bryan Batt played the character so well. Sal helped fill in for me a part of gay history that I missed in real life.

But I have heard that Americans always like their stories tied up neatly, with closure, and this reaction may be an example of that. In real life, people often disappear from one's world, never to be heard from again. Thankfully they usually don't come to a tragic end, but just end up in a different non-intersecting circle.

We would all love it if Sal reappeared, but it may not happen, or someone may someday make a passing comment about him, having seen him somewhere. Remember, only a few people know the real truth of what happened. They may not have gossiped in the office.

Thanks for the heartfelt post, TLo.

luv 'n purrs,
QTC


While I am genuinely devastated at this news -- Sal was one of my favorite characters as well, though I am neither gay or nor male (and that shouldn't be a surprise because he was one of the best characters on one of the best written shows I've ever watched) -- I hold out real and genuine hope that he will come back after Season 4. Mad Men has many stories to tell, and I can't believe Sal won't be desperately important later on. So I will keep my fingers crossed for as many seasons as I can.


TLo and others,
Here's a link to a NOLA Times Picayune story on Sal and there remains a glimmer of hope.
Not much, I know, but straws worth grasping

http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/2010/01/bryan_batt_reportedly_gone_fro.html


Bryan Batt did such an incredible job portraying Sal Romano. Sal was my favorite character on "Mad Men". He will be sorely missed, but I'm looking forward to watching future projects with Bryan Batt.

Mama Jo


Julie The Vintage Godess -- I like your ending the best. I am very said about Sal. I understand Weiner's view but I wish the ending wasn't just him caling his wife from a payphone to tell her the news. That said, I guess this scene was provacative enough for all of us viewers to conjure up our own ending and that was Weiner's intent. Hopefully MM will introduce another interesting character in the next season.





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