Neal McDonough's Ban on Sex Scenes Costs Him a Network Role

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Three days into filming the dramedy series Scoundrels, ABC replaced its lead actor Neal McDonough with David James Elliott. The casting change seemed strange since ABC had a history working with McDonough, who had co-starred on over 20 episodes of Desperate Housewives as Edie's deranged husband, but no other insight was offered into the network's decision. Until a production insider revealed that the actor had duped ABC into hiring him only to refuse filming intimate scenes with the project's beautiful, Oscar-nominated lead.

Late this morning, Nikki Finke broke the story that ABC pink-slipped McDonough after he resisted filming love scenes for the show, based on a New Zealand series about a family of small-town criminals who attempt to go straight after the patriarch is sent to prison:

McDonough was sacked because of his refusal to do some heated love scenes with babelicious star (and Botox pitchwoman) Virginia Madsen. The reason? He's a family man and a Catholic, and he's always made it clear that he won't do sex scenes. And ABC knew that. Because he also didn't get into action with Nicolette Sheridan on the network's Desperate Housewives when he played her psycho husband during Season 5. And he also didn't do love scenes with his on-air girlfriend in his previous series, NBC's Boomtown, or that network's Medical Investigation. "It has cost him jobs, but the man is sticking to his principles," a source explained to me.

A respectable and refreshing decision to stick to his morals, or a strangely hypocritical stance considering McDonough played a murderer on Desperate Housewives? You be the judge.

· No Sex Please, I'm Neal McDonough... [Deadline]



Comments

  • Colander says:

    He looks kinda like that Cat Lady person. I know that's not, like, germane.

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  • pinkyt says:

    Sort of makes sense; I can see how pretending to kill someone (i.e., playing a killer) is different than actually kissing up on someone during a love scene.
    Now that you mention it, he does have some Cat Lady face going on. Not a good look.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Meh, he's allowed. But why might it be hypocritical to not want to play love scenes, but agree to play a murderer? Didn't see Housewives, but did they ever show his character murder someone? I'll bet it was likely waaay less graphic than a love scene on that show. At any rate, I've never understood equating sex and violence for this kind of argument.

  • Greg says:

    My hat's off to you Neal for being Man enough to take a stand for what is moraly right. It's a shame that HollyROTTEN always wants to peddle Sex,Adultery,And all other kinds of PUKIE slop on mainstream television and movies. What ever happened to the days when we could sit down in front a tv; especially with our kids and watch a decent program. Right on to you Neal...Stand fast Man!

  • Chrissy says:

    How's that being a hypocritical? Playing a murderer you don't actual kill someone. Playing a love scene you ARE actually naked or semi-naked, kissing and fondling someone other than your spouse.
    ABC is in the hypocrit. They had a history of knowing how Mr McDonough works. They hired him ever the less and then decide he needs to do those secenes?
    I, for one wouldn't being the show.

  • Mark says:

    I am married and I wouldn't be in a love scene. I totally respect his decision. Way to go sticking to your principles, Neal!!

  • VoV says:

    OK, I'm all for sticking to principles. If you are an actor and you say "I don't do sex scenes", then sticking to your guns is commendable. If you're a doctor and you say, "I don't do abortions", that's commendable. Etc.
    But ... the guy was given the scripts, he knew what they expected, he took the job, signed the contract and let them start filming ... THEN he pulls the rug out from under them!? WTF?!
    I know we all hate the studios because ... well, their evil studios! BWAHAHAH! But come on! Have some balls and just decline the job in the first place, don't be a douche and cut and run after they've already started spending money.

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  • Awake says:

    When will the people understand that the Devil controls the entertainment industry. These shows work the same way rat poison works, a little bit of bad stuff mixed with entertainment to keep the people watching and they are slowly polluted. Where is the entertainment industry located?In a city called "Los Angeles",spanish for "The Angeles" Do you know that demons are Angeles?...Bad Angeles
    Revelation 12:9.Satan deceives the whole world

  • el smrtmnky says:

    he knew what he was getting into. the first scene was his character was a love scene with virginia madsen's character. THE FIRST SCENE!

  • What's with all the crazy on Movieline the past few days? Seth isn't gone a week and it all goes to hell in a crazybasket!

  • stolidog says:

    well, come on, he's a catholic! They only do love scenes with little boys, not hot women.

  • lily says:

    Something is not right here. I have seen him in interviews and read articles about him, and this does not seem like him at all. He has always been upfront about his unwillingness to do sex scenes, I remember seeing him on Craig Ferguson's show. Craig asked him if he liked the sexy acting and Neal responded that he told Marc Cherry that he was not comfortable with doing love scenes and they were able to work around it. His character in Scoundrels was to be in prison, so for me it is entirely possible that he did not expect to do any love scenes and may have been given a rewritten script when they started taping. We will probably not know the whole truth, he is too much of a gentleman to trash anyone publicly. I wish him all the best and I hope someone will give him a real chance to show his great talent.

  • Colander says:

    The feeds that bring in cool readers are unfortunately the feeds that bring in the Hills Have Eyes types.

  • snarkordie says:

    Dammit, he's one of my favorite actors - clothed or otherwise - but now, all I can think is....Cat Lady face.

  • Ben says:

    Scoundrels has been a very troubled production from reports, with the producers being unsure of the direction they want to take. The New Zealand original is quite explicit but I read the pilot and there certainly weren't any sex scenes in it. It's a much tamer affair. This is probably a case of a last minute changes having been made - presumably not so as to enhance the story either.

  • OldTowneTavern says:

    Okay, I'm looking at the rulebook for Catholic actors and it clearly states that murder is fine as long as you do it with unleavened fish on Fridays.

  • Martini Shark says:

    He was in the remake of "Walking Tall". I do not mean to knock the guy, but if he really had standards would he have acted alongside Dwayne Johnson?

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