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Ramin Setoodeh Tries To Defend His Newsweek Article

| Filed under: Gay Gay GayMedia MinuteLGBT

And we're NOT buying it!

Ramin Setoodeh is responding to the backlash he received from his extremely homophobic Newsweek article stating that gay actors aren't playing straight characters convincingly.

He says in a new article:

"But what all this scrutiny seemed to miss was my essay's point: if an actor of the stature of George Clooney came out of the closet today, would we still accept him as a heterosexual leading man? It's hard to say, because no actor like that exists. I meant to open a debate—why is that? And what does it say about our notions about sexuality? For all the talk about progress in the gay community in Hollywood, has enough really changed? The answer seems obvious to me: no, it has not.

I realize this is a complicated subject matter, but the Internet sometimes has a way of oversimplifying things. My article became a straw man for homophobia and hurt in the world. If you were pro-gay, you were anti-NEWSWEEK. Chenoweth's argument that gay youth need gay role models is true, but that's not what I was talking about. I was sharing my honest impression about a play that I saw. If you don't agree with me, I'm more than happy to hear opposing viewpoints. But I was hoping to start a dialogue that would be thoughtful—not to become a target for people who twisted my words. I'm not a conservative writer with an antigay agenda. I don't hate gay people or myself."

Well if that's what you were trying to say, you did NOT articulate it well by personally attacking specific actors' performances and making broad statements about gay actors' abilities to portray straight men.

Basically, we still think you're full of shiz and trying to cover your ass!

We've heard enough out of you!

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64 comments to “Ramin Setoodeh Tries To Defend His Newsweek Article”

  1. 1

    Dude is a cun*t.

  2. 2

    His point was amazingly clear, but because Perez Hilton took little pieces of his article and strung them together into something completely different, no one could tell by the post on here what was being said.

    Maybe his point wasn't articulate, because you don't know how to comprehend what you read?

    Ugh, this website is stupider and stupider every day.

  3. 3

    But he is RIGHT!! And honestly I have never seen a straight actor play a gay man very well. I have never seen a gay man play a straight man very well. What is wrong with this? It's just like saying someone "just can't act". Well, if that person was portraying a gay/straight role, and they can't act…then they didn't do their character justice. This guy just specified what the role was. Whatever, people get so anal (no pun intended) about this stuff.

  4. 4

    you spelled his name wrong its Ramitin Shoveitdeep

  5. Merab says – reply to this


    He is gay himself ….

    About gay actors now : for many of them it´s kinda difficult to play straight, I can agree…but not ALWAYS…. Some of the actors are REALLY good …they play believable anyway…

  6. 6

    The guy just seems oblivious to the fact that he recklessly kicked off this debate with a shoddy article. At the very least he needs to discard the argument that people are twisting his words and admit that his words were already crinkled to begin with.

  7. 7

    I'm one of those gays that chicks assume is str8, and I dunno…this idiot doesnt take into account that not all gay guys (and all gay actors) are pseudo-flamers like Sean Hayes or Perez Hilton. Theres definitely "2 tribes" in the gay male community: those who embrace masculinity and those who have more feminine traits. Gays are not a monolithic group.

  8. 8

    how can this guy be homophobic? he's says he's gay himself

  9. 9

    What's with the lisping?? And besides this guy looks gayer than Perez!!

  10. 10

    Oh Please, he isn't saying the same thing he said in the article. If he doesn't think gay actors can play straight characters then he obviously hasn't seen about 80% of the movies that have ever come out since they're all full of closeted men and lesbians.

  11. 11

    UMMMMMMMMM……maybe he not in a current BIG MOVIE but he is on a BIG SHOW.
    Guillermo Diaz is an OPENLY gay actor and plays a straight thug on Weeds.

    You would never know he is gay, and you forget when you watch the show.


  12. 12

    hes a douche

  13. 13

    with so many actors in the closet, how the fuck does he know who is playing what and who freakin cares.Dbag

  14. 14

    Blah Blah Blah…that's all i hear at this point. he can try sugarcoating now all he wants….too late.

  15. 15

    WOW! He's really full of SHIT!!!

  16. 16

    maybe he should check out actors from the past, Rock Hudson was gay and a brilliant actor. maybe he couldn't come out in the prime of his career, but when you look at his films he's flawless

  17. 17

    I'm also tired of seeing straight actors get Oscars for playing gay- even if their performances are good. People think they are 'brave' for playing everyday human beings. Why not give the brave GAY actors some more diverse roles already?
    Gay people are EXCELLENT at playing straight, even those who are not actors, such as myself. I had to pretend to be a straight human until I came out at age 20 in order to not be kicked out of my family- everyone believed that I was straight, and they were shocked when I came out. There were tears on one side of my family, and applause on the other side. Where's my Oscar?

  18. Jonah says – reply to this


    If you listen closely, Ramin [gestures to himself] and says "as a member of the gay community, that's great….". Its my understanding he [Ramin] is gay and writing this article from that perspective. Its unfortunate people are so hyper-sensitive and so ready to pounce……instead of having healthy dialog about such subjects. I'm gay, and this is one thing about the gay community that pisses me off. Urritated.

  19. 19

    "I don't hate gay people or myself.""

    He's basically saying he is gay. So obviously he's not a homophobe.

  20. 20

    Gays need to relax and not take everything so personal, it's not like this guy made a law stating that all gays must sit at the back of the bus….quit getting your panties in a knot and cowboy the fu#$ up, people get criticized everyday but when it is a criticism against the gay community they go insane. I thought the great part about living in America is freedom of speech, if you ask me this guy just gave his opinion……but let's go lynch him with the gay community…..get a life!

  21. 21

    I think he really has a point, i mean, i have a lot of gay friends, and i am very respectful of sexual preferences, but it is true sometimes, when you know that somebody is gay your sick side cn stop thinking about that and it is difficult to see that person as straight…

  22. 22

    But he is getting A LOT of free press. Maybe it worked.

  23. 23

    I agree with him. It isn't homophobic. Some over-adrenalized gays are just too willing to jump on anything that has the word GAY in it. Can't find another cause? Bored? It is nuts the big deal made of this article. But then again…you guys like nuts, huh?

  24. 24

    Re: scottyk_9 – said…

    "Gays need to relax and not take everything so personal, it's not like this guy made a law stating that all gays must sit at the back of the bus….quit getting your panties in a knot"

    We'll make you a deal, we'll stop getting our "Panties in a knot" when people stop voting to strip away our civil rights. Deal?

  25. 25

    i have two words for you, ramin, rock hudson. go watch giant and tell me you aren't convinced that he loves elizabeth taylor. GO!

  26. 26

    i am annoyed that everyone is calling this guy homophobic because of his article. he has a valid point. most of us know sean for his role as jack on will & grace and he should have known it would be difficult to convince people he can play a straight man. i haven't seen him do it, so i honestly don't know if i'd be convinced of it. there are some gay actors who can play a straight man just fine. NPH is one of them. the kid on glee is another one. but others can't. and there are straight guys who can't play a gay role convincingly either. my own brother is gay and he agreed with a lot of the points this man made in his article. he was stating his opinion, it's sad that people can't have opinions if it even slight steps on the toes of a certain group of people.

  27. 27

    Clearly straight people play gay and vice versa all the time. For god’s sake, Linda Hunt won an academy award for playing a man! I don’t think everyone is Hollywood is a closeted homosexual, but surely someone is and they play straight on screen and real life no problem. It is a perception issue; ie if you know something about someone’s personal life can you move past that for the role they are playing. That depends on both their acting ability YES, but it also depends on our own prejudices. Being gay unfortunately doesn’t mean that you automatically don’t have prejudices about other gay people.

  28. 28

    I think everyone is missing the point: He seems to be saying that he wants to see some closeted leading men to come out of the closet to prove that gays can play straight very well. And also: THE WRITER HIMSELF IS GAY!!! So how can he be a homophobe?

  29. 29

    Cynthia Nixon is gay and she plays straight and is believable. What about Rock Hudson and John Wayne………forever acted straight and in leading male roles. Also there are hundreds of gay actors who are not out and are believable so how can he say they can't play straight when most of them play straight their whole lives. Poor phrasing on Ramin's part. Any kind of generalization is kinda dumb to make expecially for a journalist.

  30. 30

    Re: TIMMMAY – Guillermo Diaz is so obviously gay. But he does not "appear gay" in the show you are right.
    But honestly, he is like the only one i can think of who is out and can play straight.

    And I am sorry but Robin Williams and Hank Azaria did a great job at playing gay people and are straight…

    and to the person who is whining about being sick of straight actors playing gay and winning an Oscar, but the thing is girlfriend, if you play an actual person, chances are you will win the oscar. Julia Roberts did, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks did and he deserved it. Dont try to pigeon hole it like that because you are doing it a disservice.

  31. 31

    Re: Spindoc – #24 are you a gay guy? I always thought you were a straight chick but then again I'm a silly duffer…

  32. 32

    Re: HotMommy – john wayne wasn't gay

  33. 33

    Two words: Patrick Stewart. That man could play gay, straight, alien, who cares, and he could STILL charm the pants off of just about anyone!

  34. 34

    Newsweek should be ashamed for printing this homophobic and hateful article.

    This man should not be in journalism. I read the article, and it isn't even well written.

    Newsweek, time to evaluate your editors…and cut some writers.

  35. 35

    I don't care if he's gay.

    Dr. Laura claims to be a doctor! She's DANGEROUS!

    This guy is NOT encouraging closeted actors to come out…he's forcing them to stay in in the closet. It's HATEFUL.

    I plan to start letting some of Newsweek's advertisers know about my disappointment. I hope others will join me. If we don't STOP this NOW, it will continue.

    Newsweek, watch out.

  36. 36

    if thats what he's really talking about..
    i believe its true

    women ive spoken too would not fantasize about george clooney in a movie if he was openly gay

    not cos they hate gay ppl but apparently it just wouldnt be hot to them
    sad but true

    doesnt stop me lusting after straigt men at all though

  37. 37

    Re: nike9123 – look at rock hudson. he's a perfect example.

  38. 38

    Re: mixelle – agreed!!

  39. 39

    SO gay writers always have to be cheerleaders or they are "betraying the cause"? I am a straight but liberal woman who supports human rights issues, including gay rights.I also support open dialogue and not always feeling like we have to walk on pc eggshells. I think the author had some good points, but even if I didn't, I respect his attempt at open dialogue. If we jump on every potential controversial view we risk subverting our own opinions. We also buy into the red state blue state mantra. Can't we all just think for ourselves and express it?!

  40. 40

    Setoodeh's article was about far more than just "a play that I saw". Yes, I'm gay and yes, I'm waaayy over the age of consent (57)! I've been around a lot longer than this guy. Has he forgotten about Rock Hudson? Tab Hunter? Richard Chamberlain? I could go on and on, but I think I made my point. They played absolutely nothing but straight characters throughout their entire careers. And, they were just as convincing as George Clooney or Brad Pitt are today. If actors can play "straight" until they come out of the closet, then that says more about the writer's homophobia than an actor's abilities.

  41. 41

    If this is true then Ramin Setoodeh doesn't know how to write because his article did not start out posing the question if someone of George Clooney's stature came out of the closet would the American public still accept him as a gay actor playing a heterosexual leading character. What Ramin proposed in his article is that gay actors cannot and have not played heterosexual leading characters convincingly. NPH, just to name one, is gay and all of his characters have been leading heterosexual characters. Granted publicly he just came out of the closet several years ago but up until then the American public wasn't questioning his sexuality so he must have been doing something right. It's called acting. No one was being hyper-sensitive what Ramin wrote and what he says he meant to write are two different things and when you're a writer and you have to verbally explain what you've written then your not that good of a writer.

  42. @v@ says – reply to this


    I certainly understood what he was trying to put out there. People are so touchy nowadays. It's almost as though gays can't consider his point and instead act like there needs to be affirmative action hetero parts for gays whether they can play them convincingly or not. Some can, and some can't. He was editorializing, which means his opinion; not reporting any kind of fact. Personally, I'd bet there are actually many gays playing straight parts already. We just haven't been informed yet, and that supports the theory that a good actor can play just about any role.

  43. 43

    He's right. Homosexuals can't play straight.

  44. 44

    Newsweek clearly has zero standards in hiring this bigoted idiot and I'm telling everyone to cancel their subscription, as I have.

  45. 45

    Uh, dude, news flash. You haven't noticed the good gay actors playing straight guys because you don't know they're gay because you can't tell because they're good actors! Capice? You are confusing "actors" who act for a living and "celebrities" who are famous for a living and thus everyone knows their biz.

  46. 46

    The article is pretty clear and concise and quite frankly well written. I don't know if it's a slow news day for you Perez, but either your reading comprehension is low or you are just looking to muck rake. Because the article did raise valid points, that you clearly missed. He is reiterating that point and making it clear for those people who can't read the article for themselves or for the retarded like yourself. Seriously, talk about much to do about nothing. If anything you should have been applauding this man for bringing up the question on why there are no leading men that are open homosexuals. Let's cut the shit already!

  47. 47

    Re: mixelle – there are some exceptions. rock can be one of them. though i think the gay actors from that time period trained very hard to get all of their gayness to not translate on the screen. nowadays however most gay actors who try to play straight simply look like gay actors trying to play straight. they are not convincing at being straight at all. one exception i can think of is john barrowman. he is gay and is pretty convincing when he plays straight. hes the only one i can think of at the moment. all in all, this writer is correct.

  48. CBE says – reply to this


    The difference between movies of today and the past are that men portrayed MEN. Today men have to be sensitive and caring. The hard core type male, in many ways has gone by the wayside. Now we have those that think Robert Pattinson is what a male is suppose to be. Too many metrosexuals. As much as I like Johnny Depp, when hasn't he camped it up? Society has changed, and I think any gay man could play today's man. You don't have many hard core type males in film anymore. They aren't rough and tough, they are soft, cuddlely and pretty boys. Now, as for Ramin Setoodeh, his articles are foolish and not thought out. His journalistic abilities are something to be desired.

  49. 49

    The writer has a lot of learning to do, and yes, perhaps in part about himself. Also, DUH, How many actors are IN THE CLOSET ? As is this ostensibly straight dude is the arbiter of who's gay in theater and film. I think he just OUTED himself–as ignorant at least.

  50. 50

    Re: Poindexter-X – we'll take that as a compliment.

  51. 51

    I completely agree with this man. As a gay male I see no homophobia in this or any 'self hatred.' I think a lot of it is the public's knowledge of that person orientation. take for example, Cynthia Nixon. Now when I see her on screen, all I can picture is her gingery face in the muff of some bulldyke.

  52. 52

    Nike9123 - If you watch movies and TV you are quite often looking at gay men and women playing straight. You are not aware of their sexual preference because they feel they can't, for their careers, come out. I know I work in the business. A bad actor is a bad actor and it is not down to the actor's sexuality or the role they are playing. Your post is naive and silly.

  53. 53

    I think it just depends on an actor's talent. His point can just come from witnessing very poor acting.

  54. 54

    Damn, didn't know he was talking about Sean Hayes! Don't agree with that, Hayes can play straight or gay because he's a talented actor. This guy is off the mark.

  55. 55

    I wonder how it is he thinks his article is going to encourage more actors to come out? In the broadest sense it seems to me the article amplifies an actors biggest fear about maintaining professional viability after personal honesty. Nice job, bitchy queen.
    Sir Ian McKellan is a shining example of an actor whose craft exceeds perception of his sexuality.

  56. 56

    Re: shutittwat – I disagree. Robin Williams and Hank Azaria took the easy way out and overplayed sterotypes in Birdcage. Additionally, I project Kelsey Grammer will not be able to overcome his conservative personal views in order to play gay in La Cage currently running on B'way.
    Re: mofolena – Hate to burst your bubble but there were insiders from the golden age Hollywood who worried greatly if the real John Wayne was found out his earnings potential would diminish.

  57. 57

    The fact is he said gay actors can't play straight roles in his article. Then he deflects from the topic in his interview and says that closeted gay actors can. That's bull, actors are paid to be anybody and everybody. If Hayes' preformance fell flat it was his shoddy job as an actor, not his orientation. Once you step into a roll it doesn't matter how you act outside of it. I think he gave an honest opinion based on what he thought was right, then realised his mistake and that he should have said it differently. Shoddy writing and hastey generalizations.

  58. 58

    He is an idiot. He says gay people can't play straight convincingly, then says he wants to see more gay actors come out of the closet and that he can't remember seeing any openly gay actors as leads in hit movies… DUH! Its because of stupid articles like his that reinforce the stereotypes and make producers even MORE hesitant to hire an openly gay actor playing straight in a lead.

    He makes it more difficult for gay actors to come out… and thanks to this nonsense, it will be even longer before he sees an openly gay actor in a lead in a major film. He is a dummy.

  59. 59

    So is he gay himself? He's got that "gay voice" going on.

  60. 60

    Ramin Setoodeh=douchebag

    Personally, I don't think this guy has ever heard of Rudolph Valentino, a VERY gay man who played straight roles all the time.

  61. u9 says – reply to this


    I don't know Ramin Setoodeh, but he sounds like a total moron. What nationality is his name anyway?

    Has he ever seen the British sci-fi sceries Torchwood? John Barrowman (he is gay and open about it) plays Jack Harkness — he can switch between straight and gay roles in the show very well. Now he even has a role on Desperate Housewives. I think he's quite a good actor. He's actually Scottish.

    Ramin should probably look beyond American entertainment inductry (and American actors) before making dumbass statements in Newsweek.

  62. u9 says – reply to this


    I realize the last part of my comment above could be misunderstood…

    When I wrote, "Ramin should probably look beyond American entertainment industry (and American actors)," I meant to say that he shouldn't generalize. There are gay American actors (some are in the closet) who can play straight roles very well. However, I think the problem is the American entertainment industry (in general, not in all cases) where being gay or anything to do with being gay still has some stigma attached to it (yes, even in 2010 after "supposed" progress). I mean Brokeback Mountain couldn't even win the Oscar for Best Picture (even though this 2005 film won numerous other awards) — I thought that homophobia played a part here.

  63. 63

    Wouldn't this be an AWESOME conspiracy theory: Ramin Setoodeh started all of this crap to flush closeted actors out of the closet?! Think about it…he starts an idea that gay actors are not plausible in gay roles…then this causes supposed straight actors that are really gay to give the big "F" u by coming out of the closet and saying they've been gay all along and no one could tell.
    Me thinks he could possibly be a bit genious. Either that or he is a just a big dick. lol

  64. 64

    As f*ckoff said, the point of Setoodeh's article was missed by Perez Hilton. His point was that society as a whole does not accept an openly gay actor in a heterosexual role, not that openly gay actors cannot play heterosexual roles. That is why at the end of the article, he asks whether an established actor such as George Clooney would continue to be accepted as a lead role if he came out as gay. Others have said that actors such as Rock Hudson were gay actors who were considered heart throbs and were loved in lead roles. However, what those people fail to mention is that Rock Hudson was not openly gay. People have taken what they wanted from this article and ran with it in order to push their agenda. Kristin Chenowith says that Newsweek should embrace stories that "promote acceptance, love, unity and singing and dancing for all!" The world unfortunately is not all unity and singing and dancing and it would be a disservice to readers to not allow writers to express their opinions in an editorial piece. That is the only way we can move forward as a society, by discussing different viewpoints as well as bringing forth controversial subjects.