Question: Have you seen the story on afterelton.com about the "de-gaying" of Heroes' Zach? Shameful.

Answer: Yes, I've seen it, and it is indeed troubling on so many levels. For those in the dark, Claire's sexually ambivalent sidekick Zach (played by Thomas Dekker, the upcoming star of The Sarah Connor Chronicles) was supposed to come out in the "Homecoming" episode, but, according to a statement posted on afterelton.com by series creator Tim Kring, he was forced back into the closet after it became "too complicated behind the scenes to push this issue further with this particular character." Translation: Someone objected to the plot, and my sources tell me it was not NBC, but rather Dekker's camp that came down with a severe case of gay panic syndrome. In fact, rumor has it that Dekker's manager allegedly threatened to pull her client from the show unless the story was changed. Rather tellingly, that same manager promised to get back to me with a comment yesterday but never did.