Andrew Garfield may no longer be Spider-Man.
But the actor still finds himself in a rather sticky situation.
The British actor - who currently stars in a production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America as Prior Walter, a young New York man living with AIDS - spoke to Out Magazine for its latast issue and actually came out of the closet.
Kind of. Sort of.
In an unusual manner of speaking.
“Every Sunday, I would have eight friends over and we would just watch Ru," Garfield says, referring to the reality series RuPaul's Drag Race and adding:
"I mean every single series of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I mean, every series. This is my life outside of this play."
And then Garfield unttered the statement that has left the Internet confused and a bit angry:
I am a gay man right now just without the physical act - that’s all.
The star goes on to admit that there may be a time in the future when he’s willing to “explore" relations with the same gender, concluding:
“As far as I know, I am not a gay man.
"Maybe I’ll have an awakening later in my life, which I’m sure will be wonderful and I’ll get to explore that part of the garden, but right now I’m secluded to my area, which is wonderful, as well."
It must be wonderful, critics have responded. You get to claim you're gay... without dealing with any of the oppression so often faced by men who actually do identity with this sexual preference.
And who act on it, too, of course.
Simply watching a transgender model on television does not make one day, and many folks are irate at Garfield for an attitude that reflects cultural appropriation and historical ignorance.
Actor Scott Evans clapped back against Garfield on Twitter, for example, writing:
"This article grosses me out.Ur a talented guy,but seem to be completely oblivious to what is coming out of ur mouth."
Another Internet user Tweeted that "Former #SpiderMan #AndrewGarfield has a very limited view of what being gay ACTUALLY is. #LGBTQ."
Even if you think Garfield had harmless (or even noble) intentions, it's difficult to argue with these critiques of his statement.
On the dating side, Garfield is best known for having had a long-term relationship with Emma Stone.
He's appeared in multiple Broadway plays and he dresses very well, but these stereotypically gay actions don't a actually qualify one to claim he is a homosexual.
In January, Garfield did make headlines after locking lips with Ryan Reynolds at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards.
“I just wanted Ryan to know that I loved him no matter whether he won or lost,” Garfield told Stephen Colbert after the smooch went viral.
He has also spoken out in favor of gay marriage and wondered why Spider-Man can't be gay.
Garfield is clearly a committed advocate of sexual equality, he just likely wishes he could have this phrasing back. He doesn't come across very well in the Out interview, as noted on Twitter:
What do YOU think?
Is this much ado about nothing?
Or should Andrew Garfield apologize?