Clay Aiken looks to fans for support of ‘Drop Dead Diva’ (Exclusive Interview)

Clay Aiken looks to fans for support of ‘Drop Dead Diva’
Interview by Michael Aaron Gallagher of StayFamous.Net

From left, Kate Levering, Margaret Cho, Clay Aiken and Jackson Hurst in an all-new episode of Drop Dead Diva, airing Sunday, July 24, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime Television.  Photo by Bob Mahoney/Courtesy of Lifetime Television.
From left, Kate Levering, Margaret Cho, Clay Aiken and Jackson Hurst in an all-new episode of Drop Dead Diva, airing Sunday, July 24, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime Television.  Photo by Bob Mahoney/Courtesy of Lifetime Television.

Multi-platinum recording artist, New York Times best-selling author and former “American Idol contestant Clay Aiken guest stars in the one-hour comedic drama “Drop Dead Diva” airing Sunday, July 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.

The episode is based on the real-life story of Constance McMillen, who received national attention when she sued her Mississippi high school for not permitting her to attend the prom with her girlfriend. Lance Bass, Wanda Sykes and Amanda Bearse also guest star on the show, which features a cameo by McMillen as well.

In a recent interview with StayFamous.Net, Aiken talked about his guest-starring role on the series and the message he hopes the story conveys to viewers.

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “What kind of response did you receive from your fans when you told them that you were going to be on ‘Drop Dead Diva?”

Clay Aiken: My fans are nuts, as in a good way. They are enthusiastic about everything… The premiere of the episode was screened at Outfest in Los Angeles this past weekend, and there was a large contingent of Claymates who were there, who came out to LA just to see the screening and they’re very enthusiastic… I’m hoping they’ll bump the needle for the show this weekend at least.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “So what’s one lesson that you think people can take away from this episode, and what would you like to see happen as a result of the show?”

Clay Aiken: “I think the very obvious lesson from this particular show, from the script itself, is that there are teenagers… and young people in this county who are being persecuted against, who are being discriminated against for things as silly as who they wanna go to a prom with, who they want to go to a dance with. This isn’t anything salacious, it isn’t anything inappropriate, they just want to go to a dance with their girlfriend or their boyfriend, whoever they are.”

“I think that’s the lesson on the surface and I think that’s hopefully what people will take away from it is – look at the arguments that are being made. That allowing this girl to go with her girlfriend to a prom is in violation of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the best argument I think they could find, and it’s pretty preposterous. So I think that that’s the message on the surface.”

“I think what the show hopes to do and what the producers wanted to do when they cast myself and Amanda Bierce, Wanda Sykes, Lance Bass in the show – I think their goal was also to have an underlying message for teenagers who are gay and maybe being bullied right now, which was to take a look at the fact that, you know, this is a small subsection of folks in this county who are in high profile position in the limelight.”

“And four of them, look at how we’ve had an opportunity to be successful – myself, Lance, Wanda, Amanda in our different ways. And I think the underlying message that the producers hope to get across to these young people who may be watching or to these people who are gay or may not be comfortable with themselves right yet, was to see that there are people who are gay and lesbian who are living happy productive lives being very comfortable with ourselves.”

“So I think there are two things that can be taken from it. One, for an audience that may be gay and may be struggling with it or who may be gay and may be being bullied. And another for an audience – a larger audience that just needs to see that there are discriminatory actions – there’s discrimination being perpetrated, if you will, against kids for some of the silliest reasons that they can dream up.”

“Drop Dead Diva” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Lifetime. To watch new clips from “Drop Dead Diva” visit http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/drop-dead-diva.

“Clay Aiken looks to fans for support of ‘Drop Dead Diva'”
Copyright © 2011 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
Photographs courtesy of Lifetime Television Network

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