Shocker! Or not. After months of beating around the bush, Days of our Lives finally revealed just which character will be coming out of the closet this winter.
EW is reporting exclusively that Will Horton, played by Emmy nominee Chandler Massey, will realize he is gay.
Massey, who’s been silent for months about this upcoming storyline released this statement to EW: “I’m thrilled to be able to portray my character in an empowering way that will show his struggle to accept who he is. It is my hope that this storyline will inspire others to be true to themselves as well.” Co-executive producer Greg Meng also commented: “We are excited to have the encouragement and support from both NBC and Sony to tell the inspiring story of a young man learning who he is as he defines and creates his relationships with others.”
In March, EW reported exclusively that the conservative sudser was in the process of crafting its first homosexual storyline in the shows’ history. Soap Opera Digest revealed through their sources that the character in question would turn out to be Will. A few months later, daytime newcomer Freddy Smith was cast as the openly gay Jackson “Sonny” Kiriakis.
When DAYS underwent changes behind the scenes in May, fans and the press wondered if the planned storyline would end up on the chopping block. Executive producer Ken Corday quelled those fears, reassuring fans the show was committed to the story, but they would be taking it slowly. “We are telling a story dealing with the first gay character on the show and that had to have another look and the take on that had to be changed. It will be written more slowly and carefully. It’s a story about one of our characters coming to grips with who he is,” said Corday at the time.
At the 38th Annual Daytime Emmys in Las Vegas, TVSource assistant editor William Dallman spoke with Massey’s co-star Camila Banus (Gabi) about the upcoming storyline. “I’m pretty sure we all know for sure that he is [gay],” commented the actress on the red carpet. “I am so excited [to play this storyline]. I think that it’s going to be really good for all the characters, not only the young people but everybody around them. Will and his whole family are very religious. I think it is good and exciting. It is something relevant to all of us and it is being done in a very tasteful way.”
When we interviewed Smith on the set of DAYS in August, he wasn’t too sure what was happening with the storyline. “It was getting hot for a minute and I thought Will was going to be my love interest but now it’s been four months and Sonny is still single. I haven’t met anyone yet. I don’t know who it’s going to be – I heard Will but now I’m hearing Chad or maybe a new character. I really hope I get a love interest soon. Sonny needs to get some love.”
Will Horton, the son of Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo), is the fifth character from a core and/or legacy family to come out of the closet on American soaps. The first was All My Children’s Bianca Montgomery in 2001, General Hospital’s Lucas Jones & Passions’ Simone Russell 2005 and As the World Turns’ Luke Snyder in 2006. AMC and ATWT earned GLAAD awards for Outstanding Daily Drama for their storylines.