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True Blood Actor Allegedly Left Over Show’s Gay Plot Line

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Luke Grimes, the actor who played James on True Blood, reportedly left the HBO show because he was uncomfortable playing a gay character.

Grimes departed from the show in December for what HBO at the time called “creative differences.” But Buzzfeed, citing anonymous sources, reports that Grimes objected to a plot line in which he would become romantically involved with another male character on the show, short-order-cook-slash-medium Lafayette Reynolds. Grimes allegedly refused to do any same-sex kissing or sex scenes.

Grimes’ publicist Craig Schneider has denied the allegations. “It had nothing to do with storylines,” he said. “Luke always had an out clause as a means of pursuing other opportunities which arose in the form of features beginning with The Shangri-La Suite, followed by Fifty Shades of Grey, and more recently Clint Eastwoods’ American Sniper with Bradley Cooper.”

The show recast the role with Bunhead‘s Nathan Parsons. The final season of the show premiered on June 22.


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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com