Don Doesn’t Care Whether You’re Gay Or Straight
August 17, 2009
I’ve only talked to a few people about this but from what they said and my own interpretation of the situation I think Don doesn’t really care about Sal’s homosexuality. If I interpreted his glances at Sal correctly, Don was surprised and merely processing what he saw, running through the possibilities before finally concluding that yes, Sal is gay.
I still don’t know how Don feels about people who are unlike him. He talks to the black server in the first episode of the show, he dates the Jewish store owner, he’s kind to the black housekeeper even offering to give her a ride home, and he doesn’t reveal that Duck is an alcoholic. All that seems a bit unbelievable to me. It’s the 1960s, Don is a conservative rich white guy in a world dominated exclusively by rich white men, he must have some prejudice. I have serious doubts believing otherwise.
I don’t have a problem with Don’s respect for secrecy though. Don is the avatar of the private and the secondary life, that’s why he doesn’t share his opinion on whether Duck is an alcoholic —he just respects Duck’s desire to stay away from alcohol. That’s also why Don tells Sal in his own subtle ad man way to “limit your exposure”, in other words ‘I won’t tell anyone so don’t give anyone else the opportunity to and you’ll be fine.’ That’s something Don can relate to, he’s obviously wished that those who do uncover his secrets would just leave them alone instead of, say, try and blackmail him and then burst into the head honcho’s office to no avail.