On the NBC soap Days of Ourt Lives, the gay character of Sonny Kiriakis was punched in the face this week by a guy who accused Sonny of turning the character of Will Horton gay.
Sonny, played by Freddie Smith, gets punched after asking Will's friend Tad why he was so freaked out about Will being gay.
'When Sonny first came to Salem, he had a run-in with Tad who was uncomfortable with the fact that Sonny is gay,' Smith tells The Advocate. 'Tad left for a while, but now he is back and even more angry at Sonny because Tad is blaming Sonny for 'turning' Will gay.'
Smith, who previously played a gay character on 90210, is pleased that the bullying element has been introduced into the soap's gay storyline. Most of the reaction to Sonny and Will being gay has been supportive which does not reflect reality.
'It is very important to bring awareness to bullying,' Smith says. 'It has such a huge impact on the youth, and we need to show how it negatively affects others. Nowadays there are many ways that kids are getting bullied - through the Internet, school, work. We need to step up and start making a change, and one way the entertainment business and media is helping is by bringing it into everyone's home with great storylines on TV shows and movies.'