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More On The Homophobic Newsweek Article!


First it was Cheno and now Cheyenne Jackson and Michael Urie are calling out Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh who criticized gay actors playing straight characters!

Both actors attended the talk-back Monday night of off-Broadway play The Temperamentals and spoke out about the article. Jackson said:

“It was infuriating on so many levels. Not only does [Setoodeh] say that a gay man can't play straight, he got personal, picking on Sean Hayes in Promises, Promises, [pointing out] certain scenes where he thinks [Sean] is stiff and uncomfortable. And then he picks on Jonathan Groff, who just came out. He's a young teen heartthrob [in Glee]. He's so talented and so delicious and needs our love and support. Instead, [Setoodeh] says he's not believable at all. It was very veiled self-loathing. Really upsetting.

Every time we go forward, some asshole like this takes us back a bit. I was really glad that Kristin Chenoweth wrote what she did [in defense of her Promises, Promises costar Sean Hayes and other openly gay actors]. She sent it to me before it went out and about. I was very proud of her. For me to stand up and say, 'Fuck you,' that's what you'd expect. But for someone like Kristin, she stands up for what she believes in and is very committed.”

YES! And Michael Urie chimed in as well to say:

“Look, I'm not from fucking Vienna. We're all actors, and the audiences get it. When I saw Sean Hayes in Promises, Promises, it was a full house and everyone was completely in love with him. And I saw it at a Wednesday matinee full of tourists. They've all seen Sean in Will & Grace, and they loved him and believed in his relationship with Kristin. It worked.

And to attack, to quote Ugly Betty, someone [like Groff] recently 'hatched from the gay egg' is unconscionable and he should be strung [up]. [Groff] made everyone want him in Spring Awakening. And Cheyenne was fucking Elvis in All Shook Up. He was sexy and hot. He's always playing straight. And people buy tickets to see him. No straight critics accuse Sean Penn of not being able to play Harvey Milk or [criticize] Tom Hanks in Philadelphia.”

Cheyenne added:

That's because when straight actors play gay, they're so 'brave.' Why is it so fucking 'brave'? It's a part and he's a good actor. I hope we can get to the day where the best actor gets the part. End of story.”

WOWSA! We couldn't have said it better ourselves!

Who else is going to speak up?!

[Image via WENN.]

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This Is Why We Love Cheno!


After Newsweek's appalling article written by Ramin Setoodeh, that stated that gay actors can't pull off playing heterosexual, gay ally and all-around talented amazingness Kristin Chenoweth has commented on how "horrendously homophobic" the article was, saying:

As a longtime fan of Newsweek and as the actress currently starring opposite the incredibly talented (and sexy!) Sean Hayes in the Broadway revival of Promises, Promises, I was shocked on many levels to see Newsweek publishing Ramin Setoodeh’s horrendously homophobic 'Straight Jacket,' which argues that gay actors are simply unfit to play straight. From where I stand, on stage, with Hayes, every night — I’ve observed nothing 'wooden' or 'weird' in his performance, nor have I noticed the seemingly unwieldy presence of a 'pink elephant' in the Broadway Theater. (The Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Tony members must have also missed that large animal when nominating Hayes’ performance for its highest honors this year.)

I’d normally keep silent on such matters and write such small-minded viewpoints off as perhaps a blip in common sense. But the offense I take to this article, and your decision to publish it, is not really even related to my profession or my work with Hayes or Jonathan Groff (also singled out in the article as too 'queeny' to play 'straight.')

This article offends me because I am a human being, a woman and a Christian. For example, there was a time when Jewish actors had to change their names because anti-Semites thought no Jew could convincingly play Gentile. Setoodeh even goes so far as to justify his knee-jerk homophobic reaction to gay actors by accepting and endorsing that 'as viewers, we are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker room torture in junior high school.' Really? We want to maintain and proliferate the same kind of bullying that makes children cry and in some recent cases have even taken their own lives? That’s so sad, Newsweek! The examples he provides (what scientists call 'selection bias') to prove his 'gays can’t play straight' hypothesis are sloppy in my opinion. Come on now!

Openly gay Groff is too 'queeny' to play Lea Michelle’s boyfriend in GLEE, but is a 'heartthrob' when he does it in Spring Awakening? Cynthia Nixon only 'got away with it' ’cause she peaked before coming out? I don’t know if you’ve missed the giant Sex and the City movie posters, but it seems most of America is 'buying it.' I could go on, but I assume these will be taken care of in your 'Corrections' this week.

Similarly, thousands of people have traveled from all over the world to enjoy Hayes’ performance and don’t seem to have one single issue with his sexuality! They have no problem buying him as a love-torn heterosexual man. Audiences aren’t giving a darn about who a person is sleeping with or his personal life. Give me a break! We’re actors first, whether we’re playing prostitutes, baseball players, or the Lion King. Audiences come to theater to go on a journey. It’s a character and it’s called acting, and I’d put Hayes and his brilliance up there with some of the greatest actors period.

Lastly, as someone who’s been proudly advocating for equal rights and supporting GLBT causes for as long as I can remember, I know how much it means to young people struggling with their sexuality to see out & proud actors like Sean Hayes, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris and Cynthia Nixon succeeding in their work without having to keep their sexuality a secret. No one needs to see a bigoted, factually inaccurate article that tells people who deviate from heterosexual norms that they can’t be open about who they are and still achieve their dreams. I am told on good authority that Mr. Setoodeh is a gay man himself and I would hope, as the author of this article, he would at least understand that. I encourage Newsweek to embrace stories which promote acceptance, love, unity and singing and dancing for all!

We couldn't have said it better ourselves!! We love, love, LOVE Cheno!

[Image via WENN.]

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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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