Morning Buzz: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Loses Lesbians

E! reports that ABC’s hit drama Grey’s Anatomy has not only abruptly fired actress Brooke Smith (who plays lesbian doctor “Erica Hahn”) but they have also changed the sexuality of the new character actress Melissa George plays from bisexual to heterosexual. Sources say that gay-themed storylines are being “downplayed,” and even “erased” from future scripts. Smith’s character was in a romantic storyline with Sara Ramirez’s “Callie” character, who appears to be staying with the show. “Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian. Clearly it’s not an issue as we have a lesbian character on the show — Calliope Torres. Sara Ramirez is an incredible comedic and dramatic actress and we wanted to be able to play up her magic. Unfortunately, we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke’s character would sustain in the long run. The impact of the Callie/Erica relationship will be felt and played out in a story for Callie,” Grey’s creator Shonda Rimes said in a statement.

American Idol season three winner Fantasia Barrino sang at a private funeral service held for Jennifer Hudson’s family members who were recently murdered. People reports that Barrino performed the gospel song “Your Grace and Mercy” and at one point sang directly to Hudson. The Reverend Jesse Jackson and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley both spoke at the service. A horse drawn carriage transported the bodies of Jennifer’s mother Darnell Donerson, her brother Jason Hudson, and her seven-year-old nephew Julian King to the cemetery.

TMZ reports that several stars have been turned away from appearing at the Barack Obama rally in Grant Park in Chicago tonight including Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Diddy, and Ben Affleck. “There really only needs to be one star in Grant Park,” says a source, “and that’s Barack.” Celebrities will be invited to the potential Obama graduation in January. Oprah Winfrey, however, will be present this evening.

Actor Tim Allen is being sued by a production company claiming they had the original idea for 2007’s Wild Hogs. TMZ reports that the suit filed yesterday alleges that the company in question was the first to try and exploit “the recent trend of many middle-aged Americans purchasing motorcycles … and associating with club that emulate biker gangs.” They are looking for $25,000 in damages. The film, starring Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, took in $160 million at the box office.

The New York Daily News reports that a security guard who works for Joan Rivers testified yesterday in Phil Spector’s murder re-trial that the eccentric record producer was thrown out of two of the comedian’s Christmas parties for brandishing a gun and stating that all women should be shot. Rivers’ manager reportedly dated Spector in the 1990’s and also testified that he threatened to shoot her.