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Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Ryan Murphy is urging people to boycott Newsweek for publishing a homophobic article last week, which declared gay actors can’t play straight. (Kristin Chenoweth has already condemned the article.)
The 44-year-old Glee creator issued this open letter (via EW):

“I would like to join my good friend Kristin Chenoweth on her condemnation of a recent Newsweek article written by Mr. Ramin Setoodeh, in which Setoodeh basically says that out gay actors should go back into the closet and never attempt to play straight characters. 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 blatant 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themselves as “queeny” people (a word used by Setoodeh in the article) who stand at the back of the bus and embrace an outdated decades old stereotype.

Mr. Setoodeh has recently Twittered that he is a fan of Glee, the show I co-created with Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk…the show on which Mr. [Jonathan] Groff plays the straight love interest to Lea Michele, a casting choice embraced by fans and critics alike which Mr. Setoodeh has taken issue with.
I extend an open invitation to Mr. Setoodeh to come to the writers room of our show, and perhaps pay a set visit. Hopefully then he can see how we take care to do a show about inclusiveness…a show that encourages all viewers no matter what their sexual orientation to go after their hopes and dreams and not be pigeonholed by dated and harmful rhetoric…rhetoric he sadly spews and believes in. Hopefully, some of the love we attempt to spread will rub off on Mr. Setoodeh — a gay man deeply in need of some education — and he not only apologizes to those he has deeply offended but pauses before he picks up his poison pen again to work through the issues of his own self loathing. 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.


Radha said...

Hmmmmm, yes and no.

I have ABSOLUTELY no problem with gay actors playing straight (or straight actors playing gay, for that matter), but I DO want them to make sure that they cast people who are able to do so convincingly.

I will admit that I find Jonathan Groff very distracting in this role, because I don't think that he has any chemistry with Lea Michele and this just exaggerates how fake the relationship is and draws attention to his sexuality. He is still a very talented person, I just don't think he's right for this character.

This is not the case for every gay actor; you just need to look at Wentworth Miller in Prison Break to see that sexuality has nothing to do with chemistry. Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto and Neil Patrick Harris are in the same boat and are more than capable of having fantastic chemistry with women.

It's all in the casting.

Anonymous said...

..before Johnathan Groff became such a hot topic, I only new him as the love interest. Not only is he talented, he played his part damn convincing. I'm not sure what Mr. Setoodeh is trying to acheive by portraying himself as a hypocrite in this atrociousness...although
if its to get the ball rolling..then it's working!

turbulentmouse said...

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the lack of chemistry is Lea's fault? By all accounts she is a bitch and people on the set are not enjoying working with her.

Discord of that degree could cause this lack of believability that everyone is pointing to much, much more than Groff's sexuality.

In fact gay men and women play straight characters incredibly convincingly because most people do not even realize they are gay to begin with. Only after they come out do people start to nitpick their performance (see also the Newsweek's article mention of Rock Hudson) which says to me that the flaws aren't actually there just created by the viewer's mind.

Anonymous said...

The jerk should apologize to ALL of Newsweek's readers, not just the gay ones. The article completely offended me and I am a het.