Know Your Bisexual History: In an episode of the NBC Prime-Time series ”Midnight Caller” entitled “After It Happened” (1988), a bisexual man is depicted as an AIDS carrier who deliberately infects straight women. As originally conceived, the man is gunned down in a vigilante murder by one of the women he infects, and a medical team in full Hazmat suits comes to take his body away as hero Jack Killian comforts the distraught shooter. In the broadcast version, the victim is stopped before she can kill the carrier.
Coming in the early years of the AIDS epidemic in the US at a time when public understanding of the disease was quite low, the proposed episode was immediately criticized as sensationalistic, biphobic and scientifically inaccurate. Protests were launched by ACT UP, GLAAD, BiNet USA, New York Area Bisexual Network (NYABN) and Bisexual Political Action Groups including Bialogue (that’s us!), BiPol in SF and Bisexual Committee Engaging in Politics (BiCEP) in Boston among others.
Eventually, the tone of the episode was softened to one of tolerance for all people who are ill and a heightened awareness of the need for safe sex practices by all. However, it was still considered controversial among AIDS activists and the Bisexual community.