MTV’s new show Faking It is offensive to some, but groundbreaking to others.
The show will feature two unpopular best friends in high school, Amy (Rita Volk) and Karma (Katie Stevens) who are said to be gay by the popular prep guy Shane (Michael Willet). With rumors spreading around the school that the best friends are lesbians, they decided to own the label instead of disregard it.
At first, showrunner Carter Covington (from Greek and 10 Things I Hate About You) was put off by the idea. “As a gay man, I told the network I was offended by the idea,” he said.
Covington used to work as a counselor on The Trevor Project crisis hotline when he got a surprising call from someone.
“‘I’m worried that my friends are only my friends because I’m gay,’” The caller said to Covington. “I was shocked. That idea seemed so foreign to me given the world I grew up in, but this kid explained that he went to a very tolerant high school where being gay was like a badge of honor. That’s when I realized there are schools out there where being gay is no longer a problem, and tolerance is viewed as an asset. It made me think ‘Faking It‘ could work if we set it a high school like that and had one of the girls actually have a crush on her best friend.”
After receiving the MTV story pitch, he agreed to the show.
“I think we’ve handled the subject matter in a way that gives the show way more resonance,” he said.
Gregg Sulkin (Pretty Little Liars) plays Shane’s straight best friend that ends up having a crush on Karma. Sulkin said 10 years ago this show would never have made it to television.
“This is a great opportunity for us to show the world that times have changed,” Sulkin said. “This is the future, this is where things are headed, so get on board or get out of the way.”
Faking It premieres Tuesday, April 22 on MTV.