In last week's edition of Newsweek, Ramin Setoodeh wrote an article that made one controversial statement and asked one controversial question:
First, he said, gay actors cannot pull of straight roles. Then, he asked: Why is there no A-list gay movie star?
Kristin Chenoweth fired back at the essay, citing Setoodeh's examples of failed straight roles (e.g. Cynthia Nixon as Miranda in Sex and the City) as "sloppy," and referring to the entire piece as "bigoted and factually inaccurate."
Now, Glee creator Ryan Murphy has taken his critique of the article even further: he's written an open letter, asking everyone to boycott Newsweek. In it, he says:
This article is as misguided as it is shocking and hurtful. It shocks me because Mr. Setoodeh is himself gay. But what is the most shocking of all is that Newsweek went ahead and published such a blatantly homophobic article in the first place…and has remained silent in the face of ongoing (and justified) criticism.
Would the magazine have published an article where the author makes a thesis statement that minority actors should only be allowed and encouraged to play domestics? I think not.
Today, I have asked GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios to stand with me and others and ask for an immediate boycott of Newsweek magazine until an apology is issued to Sean Hayes and other brave out actors who were cruelly singled out in this damaging, needlessly cruel, and mind-blowingly bigoted piece. An apology should also be issued to all gay readers of the magazine…steelworkers, parents, accountants, doctors, etc…proud hardworking Americans who, if this article is to be believed, should only identify themselves as “queeny” people (a word used by Setoodeh in the article) who stand at the back of the bus and embrace an outdated decades old stereotype.
Give me a call, Ramin... I’d love to hear from you. I’ll even give you a free copy of our Madonna CD, on which we cover “Open Your Heart,” a song you should play in your house and car on repeat.
Our take on Setoodeh's viewpoint?
Putting aside homophobic rhetoric and anything of that nature, he's simply incorrect. Off the top of our heads, we can come up with numerous gay actors that are widely accepted in straight roles (Nixon, Neil Patrick Harris on How I Met Your Mother, Cherry Jones on 24, Lily Tomlin on Damages).
It's difficult to make a serious point of any kind when your thesis is misguided. What do you think about gay actors in straight roles? Do you have any problem taking them seriously?