''The lights dimmed, and Sean Hayes opened the show alongside a troupe of male dancers.... Then he started to pine after the office lunch lady (Kristin Chenoweth), and I realized that I had been all wrong. It’s not just that audiences don’t often see openly gay actors in straight roles. What’s even more unsettling is that Hollywood doesn’t even allow gay actors to play gay....
''Try this exercise for yourself. When you think of Ricky Martin, what’s the first word that comes to mind? What about Ellen DeGeneres? ... [Neil Patrick Harris'] most memorable work lately has been hosting awards shows....
''But the [Sean Hayes] musical didn’t work, not because of the singing or dancing but because he and Kristin Chenoweth weren’t convincing as a couple. You know what Promises, Promises really needed? Something that would have revived this worn-out revival—a leading man for Sean Hayes.''
Ramin Setoodeh, an entertainment writer for The Daily Beast/Newsweek questioning why Hollywood doesn't use gay actors for gay roles. In his latest attention-grabbing article, Setoodeh seems like he's backtracking on a previous statement about gay actors, but then reiterates the same argument. (Newsweek)
Or perhaps the article is really about him: Much of it is dedicated to the aftermath of his earlier opinion piece. Setoodeh was largely criticized in April of 2010 when he made a bold (or perhaps foolish) statement that audiences do not accept known gay actors as convincing in roles as heterosexuals. In another criticism of gay characters, he complained that the 2009 TV season hurt public perception with stereotypes of gay men who secretly wanted to be women. Many of the roles he mentioned were played by out gay actors.
So, it seems from Setoodeh's writings:
- Gay actors play gay roles -- he doesn't like it.
- Gay actors play heterosexual roles -- he doesn't like it.
- Heterosexual actors play gay roles -- he doesn't like it.
Do we see a pattern developing here?
"The key is balance," Setoodeh said of Hollywood in 2009. But some prominent gay voices are criticizing his latest offereing -- for asking loaded questions and for cherrypicking his examples. They wonder if Setoodeh himself may be the one who is struggling publicly to find the gay-acting balance he expects of Hollywood and Broadway performances. Or, perhaps, it is speculated, he's just honing his ability to get on newschat programs. (Perez Hilton) (365Gay) (Autostraddle) (AfterElton) (Gawker)