Why did they stop Elizabeth and Peter's relationship?

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I didn't start watching ER until the 5th season. So I don't know this, but why did they stop the relationship between Elizabeth and Benton?

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), August 02, 2000


Because Eriq LaSalle requested it. He said that he was uncomfortable with the interracial aspect of the story. On-Screen, he & Elizabeth grew apart and things went south once and for all after Elizabeth became his intern and she gave a post-op patient a near fatal overdose while working a double shift. Peter was called on the carpet for not supervising her properly, etc... Elizabeth asked if they "could get together later and not talk about this" and Peter turned her down.

-- Linda (l.brown@mindspring.com), August 02, 2000.

elizabeth was too good for him anyways..

-- rachel (thehilfigergirl@aol.com), August 03, 2000.

As I understand it, it wasn't so much that Eriq LaSalle was uncomfortable with an interracial relationship; what made him uncomfortable was that it seemed that all of Benton's relationships with black women were portrayed as dysfunctional and he didn't like the idea of having the only relationship that was working well being with a white woman.

I wasn't thrilled with the decision myself, particularly since he and Elizabeth had such great chemistry--she was bringing out a whole other side to him--but I guess I can understand his thinking.

-- Mary (mslyman@erols.com), August 03, 2000.

You're correct, Mary. I saw a lengthy interview with him on BET about a year and a half ago, around the time this story broke, in which he took pains to emphasize that he had no problems with interracial dating, in the real world or for his ER character, and that it wasn't a personal problem with Alex Kingston (who, by all accounts, remains one of his closest friends on the set). He simply made the request in the unfortunate context of Benton's prior two sour and conflict- ridden relationships with African-American women, followed by this more harmonious one with Elizabeth. He may have been looking toward something like what Peter currently has with Cleo, a portrayal of two smart and successful black people in a relatively happy relationship (which I might actually enjoy seeing too, were the Cleo character less of a cipher).

I'm not saying I wholly agree with LaSalle, and I certainly would rather have Benton/Corday than either of the tedious relationships the two participants are in now, but I understand his point of view and I don't doubt his sincerity or his intentions.

-- Philip (PlacidDen@aol.com), August 03, 2000.

FYI RACHEL you are tripping-benton was the best thing that happened to lizzy since she arrived in the US

-- Dawn Stinson (qstnevrythng@hotmail.com), November 01, 2000.

In Lisa Albert's revies of "Shades of Gray," she says, "it seems that whenever Benton is in an emotional crisis he initiates a relationship with a woman. He first kissed Jeanie after the death of his mother, and began his relationship with Carla on the day he found out he was HIV negative." In "Shades of Gray" Morgenstern suspended Benton (after the surgery in which Dr. Swanson died) and then rescinded the suspension; Benton then began a relationship with Corday who had been expressing interest in him.

I don't remember any crisis for Benton at the time he took up with Cleo (in "The Domino Heart"?), but he's certainly in one now after being fired by Romano. Maybe the Romano mess and Cleo's lack of support for Carter could be a trigger for him to take up with a different woman. We can hope, at least!

-- Driad (driad@mailcity.com), November 02, 2000.

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