The Wrong Girl aired one of the most important TV moments of the year this week.

There are some ugly words out there in the world, and, unfortunately, most of them are about who deserves to fall in love or raise children.

We’re used to hearing these words in debates, thought pieces and in the political arena, but we are not used to hearing them during our weekly dose of romantic comedy.

But this week, that is exactly what happened, as some of these ugly words found there way into an episode of The Wrong Girl. 

The drama did not center on our heroine Lily falling over, sleeping with her best friend or making longing eyes at her co-worker/housemate’s boyfriend (although there was still a bit of romantic hanky-panky happening in the background).

Instead it centered on Madeleine West’s character Erica, a breakfast show presenter who Lily (played by Jessica Marais) produces.

After a heated debate erupts between Erica and her co-host Eric (played by Craig McLachlan) over same-sex parenting and gay couples, Erica rips out her earpiece and storms off stage.

Erica and Eric in a heated debate on The Wrong Girl.

The ugly words that fell out of Eric's mouth are ones we have all heard before, and for anyone who is gay and wants to be a parent, or believes in human rights, or grew up without a father,or pretty much anyone who believes in equality, these are words that can make your blood run cold.

"As a father, I’m upset by a report that brushes dads aside a bit," he begins. "What we’re talking about here is a generation of kids who do not have fathers.

“Kids without a dad are disadvantaged, I’m sorry but they are. Those children are compromised."

After both the co-hosts leave the stage, Lily finds Erica crying in the green room and convinces her to go back on set and continue the conversation.

That's when Erica comes out, live on air as "a proud gay women in a loving relationship, who hopes to one day have children".

It's a beautiful moment of television, and an important one. It put an emotional and human face to an issue that until then was only being discussed through statistics and reports on this prime time dramedy.

Erica storms off the set in The Wrong Girl.

It's also a moment actress Madeleine West is incredibly proud of.

"One of the things I love about The Wrong Girl is it’s ability to approach what the mainstream would consider taboo subjects," she said. "In a way, it’s the entertainment industry looking at the entertainment industry.


“It was always part of the original character breakdown. It was never an underlying element and it just so happened that in this episode they were discussing the supposed effects of same-sex parenting. And that’s when she revealed who she was.

"I really liked the way the writers approached Erica’s story-line because really, this is just part of who she is. She doesn’t have to speak a certain way, or dress a certain way or bow down to a certain stereotype to be who she is. It doesn’t define her, but she is a lesbian woman in a loving relationship.

Lily hearing Erica's announcement during The Wrong Girl.

"For her to make that revelation, that she is gay, is in stark contrast to the image she presents. And to me, that is the saddest element of the story. It is also the part I hope provides the biggest inspiration.

“Yes, it is a big deal that someone like her would come out on live TV, but also, how sad that someone like her still has to bow down to a stereotype? That she has to hide who she is in order to keep her employment and maintain her career. In the eyes of Australian law she cannot even sanctify her relationship."

The Australian drama is based on the best-selling book of the same name by Zoe Foster Blake, but in the novel none of the characters go down this same path. In fact, while fleshing out the book's world in order to create an entire season of TV fodder, the script writers stepped in to address some of Australia's most topical issues.

Madeleine, who is a mother of six, says her elder kids get quite a kick out of seeing their mum star on The Wrong Girl, and it is actually because of them her heart was so invested in this moment.

“My fear, as a mother, is that I have children I will be sending out into the world one day," she said. "If we start marginalizing people and setting down laws around basic rights like who they are allowed to love, that’s the danger.

The cast of The Wrong Girl.

“When the issue is brought up by her co-host, she had to drop her facade and we saw the real Erica bleed through. That’s where we see the emotion come from.

“This is a story-line that will be referenced throughout the show. However, it’s certainly not a story-line that needs to dominate the show. The same way someone’s sexual orientation does not need to dominate their life or define every choice they make."

The Wrong Girl airs on Ch 10 on Wednesdays at 8.30pm. You can watch previous episodes on Ten Play.

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