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Dear Newsweek Magazine, THIS SUCKS!

Absolutely disgusting.

Ramin Setoodeh wrote possibly one of the most ignorant articles of all time for Newsweek Magazine, asserting that although straight men can play homosexual parts flawlessly, it doesn't work when gay people play heterosexual.

WTF kind of logic is that?!

Oh, we're sorry, are straight people just innately better performers than gays?? Or are straight people just so emotionally complex and superior that they can easily inhabit the role of a simple, caricature-like homosexual?

Here are some of infuriating gems published:

It's weird seeing Sean Hayes play straight. He comes off as wooden and insincere, like he's trying to hide something, which of course he is. Even the play's most hilarious scene, when Chuck tries to pick up a drunk woman at a bar, devolves into unintentional camp. Is it funny because of all the '60s-era one-liners, or because the woman is so drunk (and clueless) that she agrees to go home with a guy we all know is gay?

But the truth is, openly gay actors still have reason to be scared. While it's OK for straight actors to play gay (as Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger did in Brokeback Mountain), it's rare for someone to pull off the trick in reverse. De Rossi and Harris do that on TV, but they also inhabit broad caricatures, not realistic characters likes the ones in Up in the Air or even The Proposal.

As viewers, we are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker-room torture in junior high school. Which is why it's a little hard to know what to make of the latest fabulous player to join Glee: Jonathan Groff, the openly gay Broadway star. In Spring Awakening, he showed us that he was a knockout singer and a heartthrob. But on TV, as the shifty glee captain from another school who steals Rachel's heart, there's something about his performance that feels off. In half his scenes, he scowls—is that a substitute for being straight? When he smiles or giggles, he seems more like your average theater queen, a better romantic match for Kurt than Rachel. It doesn't help that he tried to bed his girlfriend while singing (and writhing to) Madonna's Like a Virgin. He is so distracting, I'm starting to wonder if Groff's character on the show is supposed to be secretly gay.

Lesbian actresses might have it easier—since straight men think it's OK for them to kiss a girl and like it—but how many of them can you name? Cynthia Nixon was married to a man when she originated Miranda on Sex and the City. Kelly McGillis was straight when she steamed up Top Gun's sheets, and Anne Heche went back to dating men (including her Men in Trees costar). If an actor of the stature of George Clooney came out of the closet tomorrow, would we still accept him as a heterosexual leading man? It's hard to say. Or maybe not. Doesn't it mean something that no openly gay actor like that exists?

Or maybe, and call us a little crazy here, MAYBE it's because ignorant articles such as this are still being published, that perpetuate this kind of bigotry and ignorance that keep closeted gay leading men in the closet!


Shame on you, Newsweek!


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163 comments to “Dear Newsweek Magazine, THIS SUCKS!”

More comments: « 1 [2]

  1. 101

    I agree with the writer of this article and I'm just a woman. Knowing someone is gay makes it hard for the audience to just focus on whats happening. Like Neil Patrick Harris and Cynthia Nixon. Maybe it's because homosexual stars are still so new to us, it will get better in time! I

  2. 102

    I agree with the writer of this article and I'm just a woman. Knowing someone is gay makes it hard for the audience to just focus on whats happening. Like Neil Patrick Harris and Cynthia Nixon. Maybe it's because homosexual stars are still so new to us, it will get better in time! I don't think this guy is narrow minded, he's just really honest.

  3. 103

    Neil Patrick Harris????? He's fab.

  4. 104

    My friends please remember this. It is not cool, fab, marvi or rad to be gay. It is an abomination and very sad. Please be better than this fat loser Perez and take the straight road. It's the only way to live a wholesome life.

  5. 105

    So ignorant. And noticed he left celbs like Jody Foster off his list.

  6. 106

    Very feminine men CANNOT convincingly play hetro men. Likewise, very butch women CANNOT convincingly play hetro women. Are all gays feminine or butch? No. Look at Rock Hudson– great actor who WAS gay but played a hetro incredibly convincingly.

  7. 107

    uhmmm does no one realize that the guy who wrote this is gay? you can catch him any saturday night at 3am at barracuda in chelsea. really strange dude.

  8. 108

    Re: silkypup – Exactly what I was going to say!
    I don't agree with the opinions in the article but they are just that, opinions. Everyone is entitled to them, not just Perez. At least the article was grammatically correct!

  9. 109

    What's most disgusting is the author is reportedly a gay man himself. Way to stick up for your brothers and sisters…

  10. 110

    This is so heteronormative. UGH! I cannot believe this kind of article.

  11. 111

    you are so narrow minded perez. This person is entitled to their opinion. Just because you don't agree, you want to bash the article. To him and many others, it is the truth. Allow him to have his opnion and stop being so intolerant. do you think YOU could successfully play a straight man??? Doesn't seem likely. A truly great actor can play straight, gay, male, female. But not every actor is that great.

  12. 112

    Ridiculous… And I had no idea that Jonathan Groff was gay from watching him on Glee!

  13. 113

    This guy seems extremely ignorant to me…..I am not a glee fan, and I also had no idea who Jonathan Groff was until this article. When I watched the Madonna episode, I had no idea that he was a gay man playing a straight man at all! Maybe Ramin Setoodeh was watching a different show than everyone else in America..

  14. 114

    Shame on you Newsweek.

  15. CBE says – reply to this


    Some people can't get past their internal prejudices. If you didn't know that an actor was gay, and was playing a 'str8' role, you'd accept it. However, if an openly gay actor played a 'str8' role, suddenly it's unbelievable. That is the whole problem with this article. The author ASSUMES all actors are straight until such time they come out as gay. Once they are open, their characterizations are no longer acceptable/believable. It's roughly the same thing as saying an actor has become bigger than the role they are playing. When you go and see Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or George Clooney in a movie, do you see the character they are portraying or do you see Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or George Clooney? I think the public would be surprised to find out how many actors/actresses are gay or bi. The author of this article just can't get past his internal prejudices. Actors play roles, some succeed, others do not. It DOES NOT depend on the actors sexuality but it does depend on YOUR acceptance, perception and prejudices.

  16. 116

    This guy's opinion is ridiculous, and it sounds like he is still living back in the sixties with the play. One of the comments mentioned TR Knight, and it is strange, but I have to say that perhaps it isn't TR's gayness that gets anyone, but just his lack of hotness which I seem to notice whenever I watch him. Now Sean Hayes, uh, has so much talent, although all the reviews say his singing ability is lacking a bit, I could care less. I still think he is wonderful. If I were a male, and then a homo, I'd be on that in a New York minute. LOL, no , but he is one big riot and Ramen's article sucks. He just wishes gays go back in the closet. Screw him.

  17. 117

    I don't see anything wrong here.

  18. 118

    That's ridiculously amusing. I guess the fact that Neil Patrick Harris has played a womanizing egotistical STRAIGHT man doesn't mean anything? He's an amazing actor, and in my opinion, plays the straight part very well. He fooled us for how long again?

  19. 119

    Re: Cheezees – Definitely.
    Completely forgot to mention Rock Hudson in my post.

  20. 120

    The problem with this piece is it happens to be only one man's opinion. Setoodeh's personal opinion. Newsweek should have made it clear that this is not a NEWS article. There is no journalism here. No facts or research to back up his statements. Journalists are required to remain neutral in their reporting. DId he interview himself as the authority on whom can pass as gay?
    Setoodeh has really sighted two main examples where, in his opinion, does not work.
    But really, Hayes will probably never overcome that flamboyant character. Many actors have trouble with being typecast. Groff's character on Glee has not been totally defined yet. The character may be gay or bi. I have seen sparks of his personality that may be in question. The show has certainly given the impression that there may be deception by his character. However, I have seen Groff in Spring Awakening 4 times. As a gay man myself, I never once thought Groff might have actually been gay. Gaydar never went off with during his performance.
    There are so many examples that can contradict these stupid stereotypes. 2 examples, 1 with any credibility, is asinine to declare as a rule.

    Yes I agree: shame on Newsweek. Editorials should be clearly labeled. Newsweek is sloppy. I guess I shouldn't trust them for actual NEWS. This article is as factual as any Perez reader's posting.
    Maybe Newsweek will let me write an article on how Teabaggers are un-American?

  21. 121

    lol i'm gay and this doesn't offend me at all. you guys need to lighten up. try living thru some real persecution or harassment and then talk to me about how awful this article was.

  22. 122

    wow, that's a pretty fucked up article and i'm surprised newsweek printed it. hmm, wonder what this guy has against gays…or at least game men. like most straight guy he seems ok with gay women, as long as he assures himself sooner or later they want a man, but seems threatened by gay guys.

  23. 123

    Newsweek's always been a little queer regarding LGBT folks, and not in the "family" way. Not gonna miss the mag when it's finally SOLD!

  24. 124

    Re: Civility

    thank you for bringing up KEVIN SPACEY! one of the greatest actors of this generation! he's not really in the closet, he just ignores anyone who asks him if he's gay b/c frankly is no one's business. it's pretty well know he's gay as a picnic basket.

  25. 125

    oh, might i point out Hugh Jackman? one of the most incredibly masculine and sexy men alive? yes, i know he's married and has kids, but trust me he is gay…or at least bi. his wife is 10 years older than him and was too old to have kids when they got married (they met on a soap opera), so they adopted. neat little cover story for him being gay but wanting to perpetuate a stright persona so he can nab killer roles…like wolverine.

  26. 126

    That is such bullshit, i had no idea jonathan groff was gay when i first saw him on glee. he was great in spring awakening as well

  27. 127

    Light in loafers

  28. 128

    WTF is he shitting on Jonathan Groff for? Rachel and Jesse have AMAZING chemistry, much better than her and Finn! If you didn't mention he was gay I wouldn't have known.

  29. 129

    Hmmmm…. the headline has been true for quite a few articles (or should they call them opinion pieces?) I've read in their mag over the last 1-2 years… I do NOT buy the mag, it just happens to be part of the limited selection at my doctor's office. It's usually my first choice for reading material to kill the time… I'm considering switching over to Ranger Rick now that I think about it :)

  30. 130

    That's funny, this guy didn't even think logically about what his crap said. How many performers have been gay and we only found out in the last 5-10 years, or less? How many are still gay but thanks to d-bags like this author will remain closeted? No one knows they're gay, and they're getting work playing straight people… so much stupid. Is this guy a republican? I'm going to guess yep!

  31. 131

    What? Neil Patrick Harris is amazing as Barney. Rock Hudson had millions of women convinced but I think David Hyde Pierce did it best. Niles was so very UNmasculine yet we all believed that he wanted Daphne in the worst way.

  32. 132

    I thought that we had come a lot longer on the road of acceptance for any kind of sexual orientation than this??? how is it okay to get this shit published? F**k you newsweek

  33. 133

    What about Neil Patrick Harris?! He's openly gay and he's amazing at playing a womanizer!

  34. 134

    are you kidding me? um neil patrick harris ring a bell? and jonathan groff does a GREAT job in glee! not all straight guys are macho or punk, and he's playing a guy who in a GLEE CLUB so of course he wouldn't he wouldn't be playing the part butch! and you can't just blow off cynthia nixon or kelly mcgillis because they weren't out of the closet, that should be a testament to how well they COULD act straight! all gay people have at least at one point in their life pretended to be straight, so the argument that they can't do it on screen is just bogus

  35. 135

    This makes me so so angry. The face Newsweek would publish that is pretty vomit worthy.
    It's frustrating that people are writing about that, but it's even more frustrating to know that people are having it printed.

  36. 136

    I've know of Jonathan Groff before he started on Glee, I already knew he was gay, although I did 100% believe his character in Glee ; i think he sings, dances and acts amazingly ! And I find him and Lea have a really good connection - they are best friend in real life after all !!

  37. 137

    Robert Reed played a killer Mike Brady & he was indeed gay! Times have changed.. We aren't driving around on squared wheels anymore..

  38. 138


  39. 139

    I didn't get a homophobic vibe from this author, it was just an observation. Granted Glee is not the best example, I personally think all the male characters could pass as gay. However, all the examples he used were of OUT gay men, so this notion of comparing possibly closeted gay actors is irrelevant. I think the point of the article is that in this business (ironically Hollywood) which has no shortage of gay men, they still have to be in the closet in order to appeal to mainstream and probably middle America. If anything this speaks to the stupidity of society and the barriers and roles that we build. I don't think that he is saying gay actors are less than, but its an observation that NPH or T.R Knight would not be cast in a George Clooney role, as talented and handsome as they are, mainstream people just won't buy it. This is true of all minorities, there are roles that women, LGBT, ethnic minorities, etc that mainstream America won't buy. In this country we have a specific ideal of who plays what parts. Shit the same could be said about anyone above size 2!!! C'mon Perez don't be so naive.

  40. 140

    Re: rewhatecca – Abso-fuckin-loutely! Brilliantly said, lady. I totally agree. Everyone needs to get the fuck over peoples sexual orientation already, its the 21st century!

  41. 141

    i didn't even realise that jonathon groff's character was gay on glee until someone told me. i think if a closeted gay guy played a straight character well, no one would notice, but if that person came out, people would try and pick up on any little bit of their performance. how silly

  42. 142

    surely thats down to the talent of the actor, rather than their sexuality? a good actor can do anything

  43. 143

    That person needs to get their priorities straight!
    I didn't have a clue that Johnathan Groff is gay, because that was how good of an actor he was!Neither did my friends know that, and they all had a crush on him!
    This man/woman is incorrect and judging by the letter is very insecure!

  44. 144

    The writer is entitled to his opinion and the right to express it; however, I think his assertions are ridiculous, close-minded, and generalized. The same can be said for heterosexual actors–some are better actors than others. The editor who gave the ok to write the article knew that it would be controversial and spark discussion. Intelligent people should be able to discuss any topic intelligently.

  45. 145

    Re: Immebsmom

    I think that it depends upon the quality of the actor like with everything else. Neil Patrick Harris, Rupert Everett….they did great, but they also could play big bird in a drama and be believable.

    Chemistry is undeniable. I don't even mean sexual. Mel Crazy Gibson and Danny Glover, Rock and Doris….if you have good chemistry it works and the audience is pulled in by it. Even the effeminate gays such as Nigel on Frasier–he and Daphne had it even though he was clearly a gay man spoofing it up.

  46. 146

    I think Sean Hayes is a more theatrical actor and you'd see a bit more of his physical quirks in his performances. Neil Patrick Harris *IS* Barney, or pretty much whoever else he is portraying. There's a guy who my sister absolutely loved on a soap opera Young and Restless who plays Michael Baldwin that she was really upset when she found out he's gay but he's practically a flamer. The character he portrays is a husband and father. A good actor is a good actor. I love the way everyone thinks all these actors are straight. They're artists, there's a hell of a lot of diversity in any artistic community. It's not like you're dating them so who cares really

  47. 147

    Jonathan Groff is amazing on Glee, I had no idea he was gay until a couple of days ago! Funny how he doesn't mention Neil Patrick Harris who plays womanizer Barney Stinson to perfection! IDIOT.

  48. 148

    NEIL PATRICK HARRIS! How could this writer have neglected that fact? Or maybe he decided to omit NPH so his article sounded "valid"? Sooooo ignorant.

  49. 149

    So… Does he think that Gay actors have an inability act because they're gay… cause if you really think about…a lot of them pull the wool over everyone's eyes by acting straight for years before coming out of the closet…..

  50. 150

    Anyone remember Mike Brady, Christian LeBlanc's character on Young & the Restless & his character's wife, Lauren? Rock Hudson & Doris Day–the chemistry was/is there. Look how long we didn't know…

  51. 151

    Boo-hoo. It's true for the most part, and its his fucking opinion. Get over it.

  52. 152

    this is such a bullcrap! I totally bought the straight act of johnathan Groff! Didn't know untill now he was gay. I think this person just doesn't have a life

  53. 153

    I agree with Newsweek. I have nothing against homosexuals but I cannot watch a gay actor play a romantic lead, just doesn't work… sorry. It's just the way it is and the reason there are so many closeted gays in Hwood.

  54. 154

    FACT: Hollywood is run by gay men. Most actors are gay. The end.

  55. 155

    I say load up all the gay men on a nice big rocket, pink in color for there sake, aim it at the sun and press the launch button. Problems solved, and they get to sing their favorite song the whole way there! burn baby burn! Disco Inferno!

  56. 156

    I don't think its an ignorant article…I'm sorry! But coming for a bisexual female, I too find it hard to buy 'chemistry' when the suspension of belief is taken away when I know that one of the two in the couple are not sexually attracted to the other.
    I mean, with Jonathan Groff as an example, yes you can tell himself and Lea Michele has a great friendship…but as soon as he opens his mouth and sings, my 'gadar' goes off the map!
    What I disagree about the article is that it doesn't happen all the time. I mean, NPH does a great job, as does Di Rossi. To say this about all homosexual actors is a generalisation…not factual. Its all about perception.

  57. 157

    This article is ridiculous! Rock Hudson, although not out until later in his career, was a major heart breaker for both men and women and pulled off playing a heterosexual love interest flawlessly

  58. 158

    No, Cynthia Nixon was not married during the run of SATC. She was in a long-term relationship with the man who fathered her child(ren). They never married.

    Doesn't Newsweek hire fact checkers?

  59. 159

    Newsflash, you ignorant 'tards at Newsweek: GAY MEN CAN PLAY STRAIGHT JUST AS WELL AS STRAIGHT MEN CAN PLAY GAY! A lot of my gay friends would bring up Barry Manilow as an example; he once laid a liplock on Annette O'Toole in "Copacabana" that would make one wonder if he likes girls after all. The late Rock Hudson is another example, as are Rudolph Valentino and Will Patton. If anything, I would think that it would be harder for straight men to play gay.

  60. @v@ says – reply to this


    His 'theory' just doesn't hold water. Every woman in America wanted to marry Rock Hudson in the day. Perhaps Setoodeh saw a poor performance. Not ALL gays could play straights effectively, but then they probably couldn't play gays effectively either, because they probably couldn't act.

  61. 161

    Yeesh, relax, man. I think he makes some good points. A lot of viewers have a problem with believability when gay men play straight parts-when we know they are really gay. I don't think it's that far-fetched. I think he's more alluding to the viewer having a hard time and then on top of that, some gay men have a hard time faking the straightness. And for the record, straight men, apart from Heath and Jake, very rarely play serious gay men so it's harder to judge them in the same light as gay men trying to play serious straight roles.

  62. mp23 says – reply to this


    jonathan groff being gay is news to me. and NPH does a great job portraying straight. i think the writer just keeps reminding himself that these actors are gay so he cant get into the characters they play. thats the only excuse i could think of

  63. 163


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