As controversial as it has been in the last few days, Tyler Perry‘s drama series “The Haves and the Have Nots” has some interesting twists. You have a scheming daughter trying to blackmail a judge. A mother that needs to keep her job as a maid. A son that has substance abuse issues and a husband that considers his wife merely a “roommate.” You also have a character named Jeffrey Harrington, who appears to be a man struggling with his sexuality and as far as my ability to read through to what’s coming next, a gay character that gives Tyler Perry an opportunity to do one of two things. Get it right or get it wrong.
If you saw “The Haves and The Have Nots” premiere, Jeffrey is acting as a counselor of sorts to Wyatt, Judge Cryer’s son that just so happens to have substance abuse issues. Very easy on the eyes, Wyatt draws Jeffrey in, in more ways than one.
As seen in the clip above, Wyatt sets up a webcam in his bedroom and pretends to be asleep. When Jeffery enters his bedroom and sees Wyatt’s half-naked body, the expression on his face speaks louder than words. When he sees Jeffrey’s reaction, Wyatt says “Well whataya know…”
Jeffrey’s story is intriguing, beyond his job of pretty much babysitting Wyatt, watching his every move to make sure he doesn’t drink or take any other substances. Jeffrey is the son of a wealthy Black power-couple. They wield influence and have a sizable balance in their bank accounts. He is educated, works with his mother’s rehabilitation center, and seems to be an upstanding gentleman, but he has some issues. For one, he wants to impress his parents. He wants them to be happy and not ashamed of him. Plus, they all live in a small town. Word travels quickly, especially negative word. But is he really gay? Could he survive in this fictional town and be accepted by his family if he comes out?
This story could go many ways, but will Tyler and his team take this opportunity to make Jeffrey an upstanding character? His past works have not been very friendly to the gay black male and even though “down low” behavior and the “outing” of a down low man is intriguing to many eyes, it would be more interesting to see Jeffrey gradually open up about who he is and develop that way. It would be terribly cliche’ and “For Colored Girls” like to make Jeffrey a villainous (evil gay black man) or the “secret/ secret life carrying” character. We don’t need another one of those.