Tag Archives: Matt Olmstead

‘Chicago Fire’ Kills Off Fan Favourite and One of Mainstream TV’s Few Lesbian Characters

Last week, hit NBC drama ‘Chicago Fire’, started its third season off with a major death. The show shocked fans when they killed of Lauren German’s ‘Shay’.


The show’s executive producer, Matt Olmstead has opened up about Shay’s death, stating all characters were on the chopping block, and Shay being lesbian didn’t have any impact on the decision.

“Going into it, we knew if we were going to do it, it had to be someone who was going to give us a big impact, as opposed to going for a lesser-known character, which would equate to a pulled punch.

So, as opposed to approaching it with timidity, we thought we’d go for it… In the writers’ room, we have [photos of] all the actors in character lined up just as a visual reference. We went down, one by one… It’s like a roster of a sports team when you’re having to make a cut.

You’re having to weigh the pros and cons of each one. Some we moved off in two seconds, said that wasn’t going to happen. Others we debated, but we gave everybody a day in court. We came back to Shay because it affected the most people.”

Matt Olmstead, Executive Producer

Many fans were shocked and upset, that the show would kill off a lesbian character.

“There was no agenda either way. All the characters were assessed on equal footing, so there wasn’t any kind of, ‘Let’s not do this for this reason, not do that for that reason.’ As storytellers, you have to be unsentimental sometimes.

Having done it before, when characters have been killed, absolutely, initially, there’s a very strong reaction, especially from the faction that was really into that character.

My policy is really not to go right away and read the comments moments after. You’ve got to let it set a little bit and trust that strong storytelling is going to be strong storytelling.”

Matt Olmstead, Executive Producer

So, what did you think about Shay’s death? How do you think this impacts on Lesbian visibility on mainstream TV?