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We Love You Jane Lynch, But We Disagree

| Filed under: TV NewsGay Gay GayMedia MinuteNeil Patrick HarrisGleeJane LynchLGBT

we love you jane but we disagree

Last week, Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick spoke about gay actors playing straight roles, and said that he does NOT think audiences are "as homophobic as the media would have us believe."

Glee's Jane Lynch seems to have a much different opinion.

Here's what she had to say on the subject:

"I don’t know when or if [gay actors in leading roles] will ever happen. I think because since most of the world is straight — and maybe we'll get to a place where this will happen — most of the world is straight and we want the audience to project their hopes and dreams for love and romance onto those actors. And if it’s not in some way possible, maybe never probably, in their mind that it could never happen, then they're not going to do it. You know, most people are straight, and I think that’s probably why…. This is a business of projection and desiring people from afar. And watching people go through trials and tribulations, so there has got to be some truth to it, in terms of, 'I could see myself with that person.' Because the leading man and lady are the person we want them to fall in love with, and most of the audience is straight. So for right now, we can only use straight actors."

Sorry Jane, but we're with Max on this one. Just look at Neil Patrick Harris! He's straight on How I Met Your Mother, and that show's been on the air since 2005!

Do U think audiences can accept gay actors in straight roles?

[Image via WENN.]

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64 comments to “We Love You Jane Lynch, But We Disagree”

  1. 1

    Hopefully in the future there can be gay and lesbian leading roles in LEGIT shows. The problem is half these new shows are just shitty. I hope all the homophobic ppl of the world fall in love with the same sex if they haven't already and just denied it like hell lol.

  2. 2

    Perez I'm with Jane on this one.. it may suck but it's true.. If we know a leading man or woman is gay and they portray a straight love interest on screen then no one is going to believe it.

  3. 3

    i mean NPH would be a perfect example….except…no one is fooled by his 'straight guy' act. And that is why How I Met Your Mother sucks.

  4. 4

    Well I have to say I agree with Jane, I am a straight female and when Ricky Martin came out it shattered my teen dreams, I thought he was singing for me! I still love him but not in the same way.

  5. 5

    I love NPH. He plays Barney amazingly well. When watching it you don't even think for a second that he's gay in real life. He's hilarious, really. But can you name any other stars other than NPH that are openly gay and have lead roles in anything?

  6. Laryn says – reply to this


    Was Neil Patrick Harris out when he accepted the lead role when the show started? Because I think that would affect how/why people accept him.

  7. 7

    I think it's happening already! Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalph? Stephen Fry? Nathan Lane? Get with the 21st century!

  8. 8

    She's right. TV is one thing, if its funny, its funny. HIMYM is funny as a whole, and NPH is part of an ensemble cast.

    But leading actors, like in movies, or a LEAD gay couple wont work. She's right that mainly its do to the country being straight, and unfortunately theyre also crazy religious and believe homosexuality to be a sin.

  9. 9

    i agree with Jane, it may be pathetic, but we like to think that the lead man or women of some show we like is reachable. i'm not saying i have any problem if the role is given to a gay person but it justs crushes the illusion a lil bit!

  10. Linny says – reply to this


    If you are good at acting, I don't care what you do offscreen. I will believe in your character/story for the time I am watching. I am able to suspend disbelief.When I watch a "period" movie, I don't think, wow, they had color film in the 1800s?!? or when I watch Sci-fi I don't really think they are filming it in outer space! I get into the story and the acting if they are good.
    I really don't care what actors do in their personal lives, it make for interesting gossip but doesn't affect what I think about them as actors.
    If I found out some actor was a pedophile, I'd feel differently and not watch their movies on principle.

  11. 11

    She is absolutely right! NPH is an exception and not the norm.

  12. 12

    Neil Patrick Harris is a bad example cause his show isn't a drama, it's comedy. No one takes that show seriously. You're not suppose to. Reality is reality and as a straight woman I don't want to see a gay man in a leading role. It just doesn't work. There is no fantasy! Richard Chamberlin is right.

  13. 13

    I think this only applies to mediocre actors who can't really play a character but have to resort to playing a version of themselves. A real actor can make you believe whatever he/she wants you to.
    The whole majority thing is stupid. For that matter then black or any other minority should not get lead roles either.
    And we don't always need to fall in love or want to sleep with a star to connect with them or the show. If that was the case then guys would not watch testosterone-filled movies such as the hangover where all the leads are men.
    Jane Lynch, please stick to playing your character which clearly is a lot smarter than you and which confirms you are a great actress.

  14. 14

    No we don't, no matter how many times you click your heals together and wish it, it is not true. She is exactly right, moviegoers like to see themselves in the stars of the show, and if someone is gay, we as straight cannot identify with them sexually. It's the way it is. It's not homophobia, it's economics. The same reason women make less in H-Wood, we the spending public go see movies which roles require mostly men to play, which is why men get paid more, because we go to more movies to see them. Jada in men in black would not have done anything close to Will in men in black, that's the way it is. But hey, you railed on the guy from time mag. that said that, but your beloved Jane Lynch says the same thing and you plitely dissagree. Hypocrite.

  15. 15

    Re: blandies – Wow, are you a politician, because you sure know how to twist the facts. All those film actors you mentioned played supporting roles, not lead. And as far as NPH, he is part of a comedic ensemble, not the leading role that Jane was talking about.

  16. 16

    I have to agree with Jane. Once a male actor "comes out" I just don't see them as sexy anymore and really don't want to see them in romantic roles with women. And, I definitely don't want to see them in romantic roles with other men. They just lose their sex appeal, as far as I'm concerned. So, I can see why some big name stars, rumored to be gay, won't come out.

  17. 17

    And 1 more thing, this is another example of wanting special, not equal. Roles are based on public persona if it is a leading character. Clint Eastwood is not going to play an inner city gang banger, it doesn't fit, that's a fact. In fact, a great example is Sean Penn. He was in rough and edgy movies as a youngster, but notice how he will never play anything but a pathetic liberal now that he shoots his ignorant mouth off in public. That is a perfect example, all actors are cast in leading roles partially based on the public persona. Any all the examples that you can give are examples of ensembles, even if the role is labeled leading. Jane is talking about leading roles like the Bourne movies, or Resident Evil etc… Ones that clearly focus on a single character to carry the entire movie.

  18. 18

    Nobody cares if you agree or not, Perez - you damn butt pirate.

  19. 19

    Re: Linny – very good point! :)

  20. 20

    Interesting. I'm gay, and I have NO problem fantasizing about the myriad of hot straight actors out there. Their sexuality doesn't get in the way of it at all. Of course, I don't imagine that they even the least bit reachable to me…and i don't think NPH is either. Anyone over 15 who thinks they stand a chance with a famous person has issues…

  21. 21

    Jane Lynch can do no wrong. Love her. and just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's not true.

  22. 22

    Sorry Perez, Jane is right..
    It might not be what you want to hear, but Jane and Richard Chamberlain are right. I even had a friend just tell me that she can't see Portia de Rossi in a love role with a man since she is a lesbian. It looks "fake" to her.
    While you might think that everyone is cool with the "out the closet" thing, there is more discrimination and just plain old distain than you think. By the way, the ratings for How I met your mother has gone down in the years and NPH character is played almost to the point of chariacture, not the same before he came out the closet.

  23. 23

    I hope we can get to a point in the entertainment industry where audiences can "see themselves" in any person's presented circumstances–regardless of race, gender, sexuality, etc. There is a commonality to all human experience. I know this incredibly idealistic, but the more characters that are presented authentically (aka not stereotypically) in the mainstream media (leading or supporting), the closer we can get to this, according to Jane Lynch, almost unreachable ideal.

  24. 24

    Neil Partick Harris is the weakest exception to he rule and he's not the star Perez. He's on a little sit com. There are no out A List leading MEN. we all know it's acceptable for women E.I Katty Perry singing "I kissed a girl" a song about to boys kissing would be BANNED by parents it's o.k. (in fact encouraged) to sell homosexuality to our daughters, but never our sons. Who else you got beside NPH most actors aspire a career bigger than 1 sitcom.

  25. Tahoe says – reply to this


    Sadly, have to agree with Jane on this too. It doesn't make sense because in the end it's all pretend, but a leading guy or gal for the most part, is straight (or so perceived to be. NPH is the one exception, and good for him, but lI think if Johnny Depp or Rob Pattinson or . . . Brad Pitt said they were gay, they would damage their careers. For this reason John Travolta stays in the closet. I live in Toronto by the way (though i love Tahoe) but anyway, to be gay here is no big deal. I'm straight, (female) but don't think twice about two guys holding hands. I'm not into PDA, but I'm not for straight couples, either. But as for the movies - look what Richard Chamberlain said. I think in some venues people are more accepting, but not a leading man.

    By the way, we've (Canadian broadcast) just banned Dire Straights Money For Nothing song, because it says the F work, (not F-fuck,either, the other one.) Good for them. They said in 1985 rules were different than now. So that song, which I don't care for, will not be heard on the radio in Canada.

  26. 26

    T.R. night played quite a big roll on Greys Anatomy too, and he is openly gay. His leaving the show also had nothing to do with his sexuality. He was def straight on the show too…and believable. He was even married.

  27. 27

    Re: PacDan – Wow, you totally missed the entire point. You can get into a straight character because your sexual preference is men, which is kool, none of anyones business. But the majority of people are straight, even if the guy has a sex scene with a woman, it does not register as much with a gay man because one can fantasize about bisexuality, but straight men do not. Bi is gay to us, no matter what is said. Simple rule, if you like the cock, your gay, even if you like the vadge. I'm not trying to insult you, i promise, i'm just explaining the mind of a straight man. I don't mean that sex is all people think about in movies, but it is a huge part of men when prejecting into a character and identifying with him.

  28. 28

    Re: becca29 – Again, totally off topic, he was part of an ensemble. She was speaking of LEADING ROLES IN MOVIES, where the character carries the film.

  29. 29

    just because you are gay and you want a gay world no everybody thinks the same way perez! she is right, and who the hell watch how I met your mother?

  30. 30


  31. 31

    Your logic makes no sense, Perez. Yes, just look it this ONE PERSON who has managed to do it fairly succesfully–that proves it right there!

  32. 32

    she is right!gay is not sexy to normal people.hehehe…!

  33. 33

    Hard to imagine Lance Bass playing a straight guy in a movie. But im all for it!! Acting is acting, whether your gay or straight.

  34. 34

    NO. It is what it is let it alone. Most of the world is straight and that won't ever change, despite your wet dreams, so deal with it. Try fighting for equality instead of supremacy!

  35. 35

    Meh, one example that hardly makes the cut. I agree with her. Not to mention that if you have eyes and ears you can tell he is gay.

  36. 36

    She's right and that's her opinion. Also, NPH is one actor in how many gay actors are out there. The gays are complaining about each other. What's next they'll eat their young.

  37. mw says – reply to this


    it's hard to a strait woman to swoon over a gay man…and that is what you look for in those types of movies..

  38. 38

    I think a better question here is… Can audiences accept Gay Roles as Lead Roles?

  39. 39

    im gay and i have always watched romantic comedies which show straight characters and felt the exact same thing a straight person watching would. i liked the movie, i was rooting for the couple, could put myself in that situation etc. its just that people cant conform with seeing two people of the same sex kissing because its not ingrained in the media, its not the 'tradition' and people need their tradition or else they fall out of line it seems. robots

  40. 40

    no its not going to happen soon. the last big movie featuring two gay people in love was Brokeback Mountain, in 05. it's 2011 now, it's not like we've changed at all. maybe we'll get another one in 2015 who knows.

  41. 41

    I think we're all being very close minded here. I know this isn't the best example, but look at your Rock Hudson and your Montgomery Clift. Hollywood knew they were gay and the rumours were all over the place, but they still played respectable straight men in movies. When I watch their movies now, I don't think 'betcha he's so wishing he's banging her guy friend instead of her', I believe the love story and that's after I learned about their sexualities. Also, look at how they both coped not coming out and not being honest; Montgomery Clift had an addiction problem till his death and Rock Hudson went as far as to marry a woman to hide it. It is NOT healthy staying in the closet. Frankly, comments like the majority I'm reading don't present honesty, they present homophobia.

  42. 42

    Re: Linny – By the way, you make an excellent point

  43. 43

    Its already happening. And anyone who has their pre-adolescent level crush ruined when the actor comes out, or cheats on taxes, or becomes a drunk, or marries someone they dont like, or votes for another political party, needs to learn to seperate fantasy from reality - and get help. Its acting. Just enjoy the show.

  44. 44

    Tom Cruise has been doing it for years!

  45. 45

    PEREZ, why dont you try to play a straight role on tv sometime and see how that works out? Personally, it wouldnt effect me if i knew someone was gay, as long as they were playing the straight role accurately. But im a straight male so a character that I would be sexually interested in could be straight or lesbian and it wouldnt make the person less attractive…. if i were a female looking at a gay male, it would probably be different

  46. 46

    Well since Hollywood is 98.9% GAY, problem solved!!!

  47. 47

    Did someone just write "Nathan Lane" as a good "straight" leading man!? LOLOLOL
    How I Met Your Mother is barely a good show, and it's a sitcom, so Barney hooking up with these women is always a punch line. Let's see what happens when he's done w/ the show and tries to get cast in movies…

  48. 48

    I have to agree with her… As a straight woman, I do love watching Kevin and Scotty. So, who knows, things might change.

  49. 49

    Her reasoning does make a lot of sense.

  50. 50

    Re: PacDan – thats because most gay men are far more attracted to straight men than gay men. a sexy straight actor is going to attract women and gay men where a gay actor playing straight comes off as being fake (most of the time, there are always some exceptions here and there). i can almost always tell if an actor is gay. their gayness just comes through. i think one exception is john barrowman from torchwood fame. he can play straight very well. neil patrick harris doesnt come off as straight at all. we just except it because hes in a comedic role where it doesnt matter.

  51. 51

    Yeah, NPH may have that job - but I don't buy it.. not one bit. He's a talented guy, but he's nowhere NEAR the kind of frat boy who holds to "the bro code." Gimme a break.

  52. 52

    NPH isn't what she is referencing, since he plays a straight guy it isn't what she meant. She means a gay actor portraying a gay main character. A better person I can think of is the brother Kevin on Brothers & Sisters.

  53. 53

    I'm gay and I have to agree with JANE. She's right. Doogie got lucky - people never really pegged him as gay.. when they found out, it was more like "Oh I guess I can see that.." She's right. Straight men and women are excellent at playing gay roles (some, because the world isn't as straight as the media 'an JANE' would have us believe) but gays however.. nah.. Only a few of them can pull off straight, an when the cats out of the bag - people get disappointed that their fantasy bubble has burst an so on.. its really complicated - but I DO hope it gets easier.

  54. 54

    i personally love how i met your mother…

  55. 55

    God people, Jane definatly knows what she's talking about. She knows the business more than Perez. What your failing to realize is that were talking about busness. When your investing ,sometimes large, amounts of money into a project you need to do what ever it takes to make it sucessful. No body wants to loose their shirts. They try to deliver what the public wants making it as appealing as possible. Their aim is for the largest audience they can get.

  56. 56

    Re: Master Baiter – Matt Bomer lead in White Collar, Wentworth Miller lead in Prison Break, Portia De Rossi in Better off Ted, TR Knight in Grey's Anatomy, Cynthia Nixon in Sex in the City, Cheyenne Jackson in 30 Rock, just to name a few…so there's a number of gay actors playing straight roles but most don't talk about their sexuality for obvious reasons.

  57. 57

    Re: blandies

    Gandalf is an asexual character, so that doesn't count. Jane Lynch is speaking specifically about leading male roles in romcoms.

  58. 58

    uhm correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Jane gay too and plays (as I think) definetly a straight lead in Glee?
    Not that she hasn't just married herself on the show, but before she had a straight relationship with that TV presenter guy!

  59. Low says – reply to this


    Well aren't most leading male actors already gay now?

  60. 60

    I agree with Jane , but there have been exceptions … Rock Hudson comes to mind. Everyone knew he was gay and he did a lot of dramas. NPH didn't come out right away. After the show was successful, which was soon , he came out.

  61. 61

    She's RIGHT. Why do you think it took so long to repeal DADT? Why does the gay marriage initiative keep getting voted down? Get out of Hollywood and travel the REAL America. It's not as accepting as you think. (For those of us in the real world.)

  62. 62

    its easier for straight actors to play gay roles than vice versa. i had no idea that eric stonestreet was straight in real life, and he is more convincing being gay than his partner on modern family, who is really gay, is. and most of the cast of queer as folk was straight but look how explicit those sex scenes were. its a double standard in hollywood. always will be.

  63. 63

    Whenever I see an article on this topic, they always point out Neil Patrick Harris as an example of a successful openly gay actor. He may be A list for TV but he is not A list for the movies and there is a big difference. None of the rumored to be closeted big screen A listers would stay in this list if they ever came out (Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynold and A minus listers Tom Cruise, John Travolta and B lister Kevin Spacey). They should only come out after they made enough money to satisfy themselves and don't want to play the Hollywood game anymore.

  64. 64

    Re: Laryn – he wasn't out. he came out like mid season of the 2nd season.