'Degrassi' Kills Off Adam Torres, The Show's First Transgender Character
Degrassi: The Next Generation continued to tackle controversial topics this month by shockingly killing fan favorite, Adam Torres (Jordan Todosey) after he got in an accident when he was texting while driving.
Adam already represented a groundbreaking character in the Canadian teen drama as the first transgender character on Degrassi. Adam was first introduced in 2010 for the show's tenth season.
The character of Adam sparked controversy in the U.S., with conservative groups reportedly calling upon companies to pull advertising from the show, which airs on TeenNick, after an intense two-part episode titled “My Body Is A Cage” aired in August of 2010.
The episode was both criticized and revered, earning Degrassi an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Program. Throughout the episode, Todosey appeared in PSAs for PFLAG in an effort to reach out to the show’s young viewers.
Though the car accident occurred in August 8’s episode, “Cannonball,” Adam died in Thursday night’s episode, “Honey.” After “Honey” aired on Thursday, Degrassi executive producer Stephen Stohn tweeted a warning to viewers about texting and driving.
We must never text and drive. Never. #Degrassi
— Stephen Stohn (@stephenstohn) August 16, 2013
Executive producer and co-creator Linda Schuyler expanded on the decision to go through with the intense storyline.
“Adam Torres has been one of the most important characters we have ever featured and Jordan Todosey brought him to life brilliantly. This year, the creative team was presented with the challenge of telling a realistic story about the deadly consequences of texting and driving. The combination of Adam being a favorite character, and Jordan being at the end of her contract, presented a unique opportunity to tell this story through such a beloved character. As saddened as we are to say goodbye to Adam, we feel this storyline will affect even more lives in an authentic way,” said Schuyler.
Adam was much-loved by GLAAD, who expressed their disappointment in the show’s decision to kill the character off.
“When Degrassi introduced its large and loyal audience to Adam Torres, an authentic, multi-dimensional transgender character, the show not only made television history, but set a new standard industry standard for LGBT inclusion. With so few transgender characters on television, we are disappointed that Adam’s story had to end this way, and we hope other shows will follow Degrassi’s lead in bringing stories like his to viewers,” said Wilson Cruz of GLAAD.
Next week, Degrassi: The Next Generation will air its summer finale 9 P.M. on Thursday on TeenNick.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong