May 11th, 2010
01:08 PM ET

Newsweek writer stirs anger with gay actor article

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When writer Ramin Setoodeh wrote an essay for Newsweek expressing his belief that it’s rare for gay actors to be able to pull of playing a heterosexual character, he set off a firestorm.

Setoodeh, who is openly gay, has been getting berated across the Internet for the article and has even incurred the wrath of Hollywood and Broadway stars.

It all began when Settodeh’s article appeared a few days ago and led with the example of “Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes turn as the romantic lead opposite Kristin Chenoweth in the Broadway revival of “Promises, Promises.”

Setoodeh noted Hayes is best known for his role as “the queeny Jack on Will & Grace.’” In a recent interview with The Advocate magazine, Hayes appeared to come out when he said “I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never.”

And while Setoodeh gives the actor props for his comedic timing, the scribe was not as impressed with Hayes’ role as a heterosexual.

Gallery: Playing it straight in Hollywood

“But frankly, it's weird seeing Hayes play straight,” Setoodeh wrote. “He comes off as wooden and insincere, like he's trying to hide something, which of course he is.”

The article, (which also questions the effectiveness of the performance of reportedly gay actor Jonathan Groff as a new love intrest for the character of Rachel on the hit show “Glee”) very quickly spread throughout the web.

It prompted Chenoweth – who has worked with both Hayes and Groff – to  comment that she 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.”

“This article offends me because I am a human being, a woman and a Christian,” Chenoweth wrote in an open letter to Newsweek which appeared on PerezHilton.com. “For example, there was a time when Jewish actors had to change their names because anti-Semites thought no Jew could convincingly play Gentile.”

Angry tweets on Twitter included comments that “Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh blows” and openly gay Broadway actors Cheyenne Jackson and Michael Urie told the site Afterelton.com they thought Setoodeh was an “a**hole" and "unconscionable."

Setoodeh has acknowledged the controversy with a new article where he reports that he has “became the subject of a lot of vicious attacks.”

“I received e-mails that said I will be fired, anonymous phone calls on my cell phone and a creepy letter at my home,” he wrote. “Several blogs posted my picture, along with a link to my Twitter feed. People commented about my haircut, and that was only the beginning. I was compared to Ann Coulter and called an Uncle Tom.”

Setoodeh defended himself and said he was aiming to stir intelligent discussion with his article. He is not at all homophobic, the writer said.

“I'm not a conservative writer with an antigay agenda,” he said. “I don't hate gay people or myself.”

Ramin Setoodeh is scheduled to appear Tuesday night on HLN's "The Joy Behar Show" along with "Married with Children" actress Amanda Bearse and writer Dan Savage who are both openly gay.

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Filed under: Celebrities • Glee • theater

soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Contracting Info

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You've done an impressive job and our whole group will probably be grateful to you.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Diane

    The path to understanding, is to be open to hear, the good the differences and sometimes the insanity. In this country you have so much to cheer for and stand for., but as invidual it appears that our , backbone isnt' strong enought to take , whatever truth someone speak, about . the ideal to be open is to listen and try to understand, that all men and women are created to be different.

    May 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brett

    The writer of this article is gay... openly. How could he be biased against gay people if he himself is gay? That's like saying black people who say the "N word" are racist... It's just irrelevant.

    To be honest, I kinda get what this guy is saying. I don't mean to sound biased, but sometime's gay people have certain mannerisms that give them away. Nothing terrible or offensive or stupid... Just gay. There really is no other way to explain it. For instance, that kid Jonathan Groff walked away from Rachel in a really gay fashion last week in Glee. He also gave her a really gay look after she closed her locker...

    It's hard to describe, but if you spend as much time with gay people as I do, you know what I'm talking about. It's just something you learn from being around it a lot. Certain actions are universally understood amongst gay people. There is nothing wrong with it, but pointing it out may seem biased, especially to overdramatic people.

    Everyone needs to just chill and stop making such a big deal out of it. Embrace who you are, Gays. The world is ready to accept you.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joan Stuchner

    Christians have been playing Jews on screen for decades, and I think I'm the only one whose ever mentioned it. Apart from the fact that maybe Jews could play Jews now and then, you know, just to be fair, it has to be acknowledged that acting is just that. Acting is playing a part – being someone you are not. I've played a lot of maids on stage in my life, but off that stage I've been known to ask my husband, 'Remind me dear. Where do we keep the vacuum cleaner?'
    A Jew could play Othello. Gays can play straights. Charlie Sheen could play a priest, and I'd like to see Morgan Freeman play Shylock. When a director has imagination, anything is possible.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. jude

    3 words, Neil Patrick Harris. he's gay but has convinced all of us he's the worlds biggest womanizer. nuff said.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Debbie

    One of the most famous leading-man-heartthrobs of all moviedom was Rock Hudson. No one even knew until after his death that he was gayer than Adam Lambert. Guess he was a pretty good actor.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. Who Cares

    The most shocking thing about this whole comment section... someone actually said that Frasier was the "best American sitcom of all time". Are you being serious? I have to know. Listen: for all of the people here throwing their arms up in the air about this Newsweek article. Let's face it; the Will & Grace actor guy who is gay just isn't really that good of an actor and can't really pull anything off. Sorry... but that actually is the truth. Get real people... who cares what someone does or who they do it with when the lights are off in the bedroom. Let them have fun. But, in all seriousness, no one is going to go and see this play anyway, so who cares how good of a job he does. Frasier... best sitcom ever... hilarious!

    May 12, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cine Mata

    The point is that it shouldn't matter whether it's a straight or gay person playing a straight or gay part. Although it's funny, when a *straight* person plays gay, the public lauds their performance.

    This suggests that Hollywood and the public still have a love/hate relationship with gay roles in film/tv anyway – so much so that once again, straights are the barometer of a good gay performance...sigh.

    P. S. I still cling to the frail hope that Sean Hayes and Megan Mulvany from Will and Grace will get a spin-off show as "Jack" & "Karen"...how divine would that be?

    May 12, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Toby in Fl

    Remember how the World was Shocked when Rock Hudson was discovered to be Gay?? He was an excellent Actor and the World never knew of his hidden secret.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. melaniemarquez

    dont forget oprah

    May 12, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    I've thought for years that George Clooney is our generations Rock Hudson. It'll all come out someday!

    May 12, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Regarding Groff on the show Glee, what makes him and the rest of the show ridiculous is that the show is supposedly about a high school glee club but the students are in their 20s. He is 25. That's unrealistic. And why the lousy reporting that Groff is "reportedly gay". He has said it publicly.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Gruneun

    @Annoyed "Neil Patrick Harris=Barney"

    @Chan "Three words....Neil Patrick Harris!!! He is perfect as the womanizing Barney Stenson!!!"

    My thoughts, exactly.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. sally

    George Clooney is not gay.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. bob watkins

    Don't forget Montgomery Clift. Gay and huge movie star in the 1950s. He could generate incredible chemistry/heat with some his leading ladies. If you've never seen "A Place in The Sun, " rent it this week. Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. Wow! Serious on-screen heat.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  16. CLEM

    Who cares. so much more important stuff going on

    May 12, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  17. Bubba

    Meow, meow. Rowr-fft.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  18. NotPoliticallyCorrect

    Speaking of acting, how about trying to act like a normal human being: Male part into female part. Basic biology, no matter how much the "politically correct" try to convince people otherwise.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  19. Sasha Finlay

    Hugh Jackman is not gay and either is George Clooney...but who cares anyway?

    May 12, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  20. Bea McBride

    Rent "The Thornbirds" and watch the magnificient performance of Richard Chamberlain.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  21. Babs

    Rock Hudson. End of discussion.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  22. Cut the Fat

    Sean Hayes received a Tony nomination for this role. He's convincing somebody. I've seen the show and he's really good. In fact, he out stages
    Kristin Chenoweth who is one of the biggest Broadway divas ever. It appears this journalist and Newsweek are more interested in becoming news than reporting it.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  23. Mark

    This is exactly why people don't trust journalism anymore. The minute someone speaks the truth, they are chastised. Scr*w political correctness and earn my respect.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  24. NotPoliticallyCorrect

    Cut him some slack. It must be hard to ennunciate with a penis in your mouth.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Enjel

      that during the siexits, he and Len & Marv & several others would take the DC office tour every month. While walking through the offices, they'd slip away to pitch ideas to editors. Boltinoff was the first to bite for Gerry. He was sent home to write up his story and return with it the next week. When he came back, Boltinoff ripped the story to shreds and told Gerry to rewrite it to Boltinoff's specifications. Gerry did so, and was again told how terrible it was and sent home for yet more rewrites. He came back the following week, with his original script, retyped. Boltinoff read it and said, Now, THAT'S what I was talking about.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
  25. Rick Kramer

    This writer is jealous that gay actors/actresses can play better straight roles then he can write! I guess he will next say that straight actors can not play gay roles. What an idiot!

    May 12, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  26. Brandon Carson

    I wonder where CNN's editors are. Lots of typos in this um "article".

    May 12, 2010 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  27. B. Schmidt

    Hey guys, might wanna check your caption on that picture...

    May 12, 2010 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  28. Outof America

    I was wondering why the editors of Newsweek would allow such tripe to be printed, then remembered that the Washington Post announced it was selling the magazine this week.

    All this brouhaha is probably set for "publicity's sake", it's such a shame they have the mentality of backwoods 12-year olds in their approach, though.

    Gay can't play straight?

    That is such BS...there have been an incredible number of gay men who played some of Hollywood's and Broadway's best and toughest leading men.

    Just ask any gay person who has been in the business longer than a few years...

    May 12, 2010 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
  29. Flip

    why don't they edit anymore...there is a typographical error in the first paragraph...journalism IS dead

    May 12, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  30. suesk1

    whats the big deal...actors act...whether they're gay or straight...they don't need to convince the public either way...

    May 12, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  31. straight or not

    Hugh Jackman is not straight. He does have a permanent boyfriend.

    I don't know about Daniel Craig.

    May 12, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  32. Jennifer

    Hello, has this man never heard of Rock Hudson. He only played straight characters, was a superstar and gay!

    May 12, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  33. dave

    no need to fire him, newsweek is up for sale and going out of business anyways.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Anthony

    Perhaps Ramin can only see Hayes as Jack from Will & Grace for the same reasons we can only see Matt LeBlanc as Joey, Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie, Kelsey Grammer as Frazier, Jason Alexander as George Costanza, etc. – because once you play a character long enough on television, you typcast yourself. It just so happened that Hayes played a gay character on a hit television show that lasted for a long time.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  35. bluenote

    It's called"acting" for a reason. Perhaps some of the gay actors who can't play straight just aren't very good at their job.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Dave

    The hell with gay people. They are easily offended and insecure about their "freak" status. As well they should be. What kind of society is it when only nice things are allowed to be said about such an immoral and depraved group of people? As vile and obscene as they are they should be banned from playing straight people.

    May 11, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  37. hello

    Uh, hello, they're called actors. According to this theory, only Buzz Aldrin or John Glenn (etc.) can play astronauts. Can it be that Hayes just isn't good in the role? Even if the writer was writing to stir conversation, it's a weak premise.

    May 11, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  38. James

    Well, if everyone in Hollywood that is actually gay came out, there would hardly be any straight leading men left. If only the public knew how many of these dudes are gay, they would be shocked! I'd say a good 30-40% of leading men in Hollywood play for the pink team. This shouldn't be shocking to anyone.

    May 11, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Shiva

    If straight men can play gays, why can't gays play straight men? (same thing amongst the female crowd...)

    May 11, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • lutishe

      the news is really boring that man on fox 4 news that talks and waste time i love so so so so so much got love 4 you a lulu creaton

      February 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jake

    Of course they're going to tell Newsweek to fire the writer. That's part of being gay. They all want something dramatic to happen. I'm surprised they didn't issue a freaking fatwa for peats sake. Irrational behavior and outrageous demands go with the territory.

    LEAVE NEWSEEK ALONE. SHE'S ONLY A MAGAZINE. HER AUNT WAS GOING THROUGH SOME TOUGH TIMES. ALL YOU WANT IS MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE.

    May 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Old Curmdugeon

    Point is–the article was unnecessary. Who cares whether the person playing a gay is straight–or playing straight is gay. Real question is–can they act worth a darn. That's what's important–not this raised to create controversy crap. Glad it blew up in his face.

    May 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  42. millie

    I agree with iho. It may also be that many may not find Sean attractive. Good looks can get you far and the women still like ya despite the gay rumors. They dream of being the one to CHANGE you. Maybe women don't want to sleep with Sean. I don't know many gay guys who do either.

    May 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  43. iho

    The problem may be is that Sean was way too convincing as Jack. Remember, he played that role w/alot of flamboyance. Now I don't know if Sean is flamboyant in real life, but it just may be hard to convince an audience when they've seen you play a gay character for so long. It did not surprise me one bit that Sean was gay in real life. He was brilliant on Will and Grace.

    May 11, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Mg

    Leonardo Di Caprio's first Oscar nomination came from playing a developmentally disabled person...embodying something you are not, bringing it to life is what acting is all about.

    May 11, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  45. zephyrwinds

    Rock Hudson, Sir Michael Redgrave, Robert Reed, Richard Chamberlain,
    after all, it is called acting.

    May 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Seth

    I know Ramin. I don't totally agree with his entire point but he's very correct... actors like Sean Hayes and even Rupert Everett have what many gays would call "gay" or "queeny" mannerisms. Yes, those aren't PC terms but some African-Americans also use the "n" word and many would say that is also not a PC term. Yet these terms are a way (even though not PC) for a minority group to communicate... at least some of its members.

    Let's cut the crap... Sean Hayes is a "fem" acting man. He doesn't have the magnetic, masculine swagger of a leading man. Now, maybe some gay actors do have that masculine swagger...but I think that's Ramin's point. We don't know because there are no very masculine out gay actors...at least ones who've appeared in roles that most of us are likely to see in major motion pictures etc.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Victor

    The writer is a moron!!!!!!!!

    Newsweek should fire his ass!!!! And his editor too!!!! Doesn't anyone proofread these damn things before they see print??!!?? Shouldn't his editor have use common sense and told him there was no way they would print that article???

    May 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Ben

    uh what?

    May 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  49. good stuff

    this article needs more john barrowman. he is THE man!!!

    May 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Jack

    Well. Rock Hudson sure fooled a lot of people. Sort of ends that argument right there.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  51. deb

    David Hyde Pierce WONDERFUL on Frasier and Neil Patrick Harris!!

    May 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  52. c- MONTES

    ACTORS ARE SENSITIVE PEOPLE WHO FOR MANY REASONS TRY TO SATISFY THEIR EMPTINESS AND FRUSTRATIONS AND PAIN DIRECTING THEMSELVES INTO THE ARTS. THAT COULD BE ONE EXPLANATION. ON THE OTHER HAND i HAVE MET (WRITERS PAINTERS, ARCHITECTS ETC. INCLUDED)CONSTRUCTIONS WORKERS, TAXI DRIVERS BAR TENDERS AND OTHER "STRAIGHT" PEOPLE WHO ARE ALSO GAY. i THINK THE ISSUE, AND NOT THE PROBLEM REQUIRES MORE AND MORE ANALISING. MAYBE BEING GAY, OR STRAIGHT DOES NOT MEAN A THINGS EXCEPT IN THE MINDS OF THE RELIGIOUS, THE PRUDE, THE HYPOCRITES AND THE EVIL BASHERS (WHO MAY ALSO BE REACTING)...ALL TOO OBVIOUS. C

    May 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  53. perlita

    MrRight123...you got it!

    May 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Claudia King, 3172

    "I don't enjoy a movie or show as much if I know an actor is gay when he's playing a straight role. It takes away from the movie/show. I tend not to watch them. How can a movie be "believable" if the actor in real life is gay. Doesn't work." – Judy

    Brace yourself, Judy: star of "Third Rock From the Sun" John LIthgow isn't really an alien. Oh, and the star of "The Mentalist" isn't really American – he's Australian!!! Sorry for the shockers.

    Geez, what an utterly stupid and ill-thought-out comment.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  55. JenG

    What about turning the question around? What about Heath Ledger playing a gay man? Can a straight actor/actress play a gay or lesbian role believably? I personally think that it just depends on the actor or actress and their talent in a particular role.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Marc Wall

    No honey.....rumors about Rock Hudson being gay were out for years befoer he died of AIDS. The story goes that John Wayne made a public statement during the shooting of a movie that "Rock Hudson is a waste of manhood".

    May 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Mark in Texas

    oooooooo I like the thing about Closeted guys being weak in movies....... does that mean James Marsden? Someone please tell me YES!

    .... and Hugh Jackman – I've heard rumors that he does have a long time boyfriend – of course these are just rumors... a girl can dream

    .... and why hasn't anyone mentioned Daniel Craig? Isn't he OUT?

    May 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Stefan

    Haha – Tyler Perry – so true. I don't think he'd ever come out though. His religion prevents it. It's hard being very religious and being gay, you start to hate yourself and its torture. So I don't think Perry will be coming out any time soon.

    Same problem with poor David Archuleta......... if he came out, he'd be excomunicated by the Mormon church... I mean it's just impossible. Poor guy. :(

    May 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Joe

    You can't comment unless you've seen Hayes' performance.
    Now as for the closeted bis/gays who everyone thinks are straight and are already part of this discussion....

    May 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Lance Bruce

    Closeted gay actors are well known for their skill at being the love interest in "women's pictures." Closeted gays have earned a strong reputation for playing weak so as not to overshadow a female star. Works like a charm and no one's the wiser.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Gluer001

    Fine actors have range. It doesn't matter whether they're straight or gay. Jody Foster pulls it off. But Nathan Lane or Tyler Perry are simply not believable in straight roles.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Cindy

    On the other hand, straight Hollywood heartthrob Hugh Jackman portrays gay so well (best actor Tony as Peter Allen), he's been thought to be gay. He's not, as his wife, adopted children (and Barbara Walters!) will attest.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Stefan

    I don't understand why this guy wrote this article. After all the work we've done to try to encourage people to come out, especially people in Hollywood – he is telling them they need to stay in the closet! And for nothing more than his entertainment at that.

    Besides why would anyone gay NOT want George Clooney to come out? That's the pink elephant in the room, not Sean Hayes. ;)

    May 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  64. dave

    @carly: the world is the same – we're just more accepting at allowing these people that have ALWAYS been there to be themselves.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  65. dave

    Yeah – don't forget Ricky Martin lol

    lol @ the Zac Effron reference – that'll be one of those "DUH" moments we hear about in another 20 years "Zac Efron is OUT" while he's trying to revive his career!

    Good one. I've always heard that Queen Latifah is out to friends and has a long time partner, but why doesn't she come out to everyone and who people that it doesn't matter?

    May 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  66. carly

    once upon a time, you were simply a guy or a girl. Now you have guys, who feel like girls, who are expected to play guys. You have some, swinging both ways, unsure what to do. What is the world coming to?

    May 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  67. M&M

    This whole discussion is gay....

    May 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Peter S.

    JFT: Actually, while Ramin Setoodeh has a right to write an essay like this, those offended have a right to be offended AND to say so to the writer. It’s a two-way street. Short of physical attack or calling for physical attack either group is free to express their opinion. If you’re dumb enough not to see equivalence here you’re probably too dumb to be walking around without a helmet and pads.

    Secondly, I see a bunch of folks talking about Niles Crane’s believability as a character. What I don’t see is any discussion of Dan Butler, an openly gay actor, playing Bulldog on the same show. If he wasn’t convincing as a rabidly hetero man I’ll eat my boots.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Sarah

    Gay actor's who have played straight (whether or not they are OUT):

    Lindsay Lohan
    George Clooney
    Neil Patrick Harris
    John Barrowman
    Tab Hunter
    James Dean
    Queen Latifah
    Jodie Foster
    Richard Chamberlain
    Jon Guilgud (and he has a Tony, Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy)
    Ian McKellen
    Zac Effron (sorry Vanessa)
    Corbin Blue
    David Hyde Pierce
    Cheyenne Jackson
    Lilly Thomland
    Anthony Perkins
    gosh...... there are just too many to name these are off the top of my head....

    NOT TO MENTION HALF OF THE GUYS WHO HAVE EVER BEEN ON BROADWAY (or who am I kidding probably wayyy more than half)........ Gays have always been in entertainment...... why would anyone want it any other way?

    May 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Mike in NJ

    Perhaps he should have limited his criticism to the one actor (gay or not) he did not find convincing in this case.

    In any case, I really liked Sean Hayes in Will and Grace; I found "Will" and "Grace" both insufferably bad, but Jack and Karen (Sean Hayes and Megan Mulally) were worth watching the show for them alone!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Fact

    Who cares? They're gay.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Cindy

    Actually, Eric McCormack, who played Will on Will and Grace is completely 100% hetero, happily maried to a woman, and daddy to at least two children. And I always felt they made Will 'more gay' as the show went on. At first I thought he was going to end up with Grace. Sean Hayes was always over the top gay with his character, which is why I think it sticks. And, yes, Richard Chamberlain...who knew?!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  73. patNY

    Simple fact – gay actors who convincingly play straight roles are good actors, worthy of praise. Gay actors who don't convincingly play straight, well, perhaps they either are not so good at their job, or, should accept their fate as the gay best friend role in sitcoms and romantic comedy movies. Hey, I'm a lawyer who sticks to appellate practice... that's what I'm good at, so, that's what I do, wouldn't be good at trial litigation...same should be for the type of roles actors pick or get picked for....oh, and Im gay too.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Ines

    Ramin Setoodeh, you should know better than to speak or write the truth, America is full of liers and you'll be damned if you say what's really in your mind at any given time, you might offend a lot of people, so please stick to being a hypocrite and go on living in a free country. Write about engineering or computers...

    May 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Joyce

    Here's one for all to ponder: Raymond Burr. Perry Mason, Ironsides, etc. was gay.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Gordon

    Rock Hudson, Tyrone Power, John Guilgud, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Kris

    I always thought Dr. Niles Crane (David Hyde Pierce) on Frasier was gay (not that there's anything wrong with it ;-), so he's one that didn't quite pull off playing straight!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  78. uberben

    I think this is true to a point. I don't know if I could look at Sean Hayes as anything but gay. However, I don't know if this is because he is gay or if it is because of the job he did on the Will and Grace Character. Everytime I see Bob Denver, I think Giligan..

    It is ironic though that I have seen the man who played Will play a straight man and never thought twice (and I am not sure if he is gay or not).

    There is really no point to the article at all though. There are a lot of sumb actors I would never believe as a scientist.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Tom

    Two Words – Rock Hudson

    May 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Carol

    Rock Hudson? Richard Chamberlain? No issue with their straight characters...

    May 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  81. dave

    Yeah, Rock Hudson was never believable when playing straight characters.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Judy

    I don't enjoy a movie or show as much if I know an actor is gay when he's playing a straight role. It takes away from the movie/show. I tend not to watch them. How can a movie be "believable" if the actor in real life is gay. Doesn't work.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  83. sally

    some of you sound as ignorant as the Newsweek writer. He disguised his personal opinions in a news magazine and tried to call it fact. He wrote a ridiculous factually incorrect article. Thats what people are up in arms about. They are NOT attacking his opinion. They are attacking his bad writing and lack of correct examples. Even his response is ridiculous and not worthy of his "argument" as he says it was supposed to be about Clooney and how he wouldn't be able to be a movie star if he came out. Really? That argument literally took up one sentence in his two page "article." He also used deragatory words that have long been associated with gays. If he had written it about any other minority, the article would not have been published. So shame on any of you for saying those speaking out are not about tolerance. In fact its quite the opposite. Read the article and then read Chenoweth's response. She isn't attacking She actually makes great points. I am thrilled someone spoke out. Oh and guess what. Shes not gay either!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  84. foxglove

    Scott, that was an excellent post. I agree 100%.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Chan

    Three words....Neil Patrick Harris!!! He is perfect as the womanizing Barney Stenson!!!

    May 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Tim

    I'm with JFT and Scott on this. The only opinion that can be stated is one that agrees with and endorses everything that is gay - even a gay guy can't criticize other gay men!!

    Those who want tolerance are those who least give it!

    May 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Billy ray Cyrus

    I need to get laid.

    real bad.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  88. jen

    Two words: Richard Chamberlain

    Mr. Miniseries heartthrob himself.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Scott

    Ya gotta love it. People who preach and plead for tolerance but are unable and unwilling to tolerate a calmly-expressed, non-vitriolic divergent viewpoint.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Bag O'Doo

    You read it so yeah, I guess it is news.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  91. trixie

    You tell them JFT!!!

    May 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Brent

    Uh, JFT, how does everything you just said not apply to the Newsweek writer, whose the one trying to play the victim? And the writer absolutely should have to defend his statements. You write something, people respond, and you can respond to them (or not). That's what a "debate" is. All I see a bunch of people exercising their own free speech rights by forcefully responding to this writer (and Newsweek). You apparently think that "free speech" means one's opinions can't be criticized (no matter how ridiculous 99% of readers think they are); I see the system working exactly as it should.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  93. MrRight123

    THis week – 10,000 children in Africa will die. And this is news?

    May 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Brent

    What stirred my anger is that is was such a stupidly written, poorly argued article, clearly the result of the writer's obvious biases; from this and previous articles, it's clear he has real issues with non-traditionally masculine gay men and was merely projecting his own biases onto certain actors and the rest of the world. I've read the comments about this article in several places, and I've yet to read a single person that thinks he had a valid "point," that it wasn't just bigoted nonsense. If his goal was to start an intelligent discussion, he failed miserably. Who's to blame for that? Well, I guess it could be the entire rest of the world, everyone who's ever read his article. Or it might be the writer himself, who now trying to wear the victim label. I (and pretty much everyone who's ever read this writer) would say the latter.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  95. JFT

    The writer shouldn't have to "defend" his statements. He expressed his opinion and if you don't like it, you're free not to read it. Disagree with him? Fine, put forth a rebuttal. Don't declare Newsweek fire the writer (or even phone in death threats) because you are offended. I seem to remember when "right wing" groups do that very thing to people (dixie chicks, etc), everyone crowds around the First Amendment and chants 'freedom'. The problem is, folks... Free Speech means speech you don't like is also free. Get over it. This sort of reaction is nothing more than childish whining by people who feel the need to get their way, even if it means trampling on the rights of others to do so.

    Life's hard, buy a helmet. You don't have a right NOT to be offended. And this is the United States of America where Freedom of Speech is, and should be, embraced, welcomed, and not tarnished by people who whine the loudest or are easily offended. They aren't the "Bill of Suggestions", you bunch of babies.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  96. FakeName

    Jackson and Urie's comments were not made to AfterElton.com directly. AfterElton posted comments the actors made following a performance of "The Temperamentals", in which Urie is starring.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  97. bb

    Look at Robert Reed – I think that's his name, Mr. Brady on 'The Brady Bunch'. He did a great job at playing a straight guy.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Annoyed

    Neil Patrick Harris=Barney

    That's all I have to say.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Prospero

    Having not read the Newsweek article, I'm wondering how much theater- history research was done. Any mention of Ian McCellan (GAY!) as RIchard lll, John Guilgud (GAY!) as Hamlet, or virtually every leading romantic role performed by the greatest classical stage actor of the last century Sir Lawerence Olivier? ( GAY!)

    May 11, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  100. buzzy

    how about doogie from doogie howser? He plays hetero amazingly well in harold and kumar and how i met your mother

    May 11, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Denizen Kate

    Wouldn't it be nice if it didn't matter?

    May 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Lone Twister

    Apparently this clown has never heard of Rock Hudson either..

    May 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Joe R.

    Could it be possible that Hayes just isn't good at that role?

    May 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Wendy

    I can see where it would be akward to have a known gay actor playing a straight part. Of course "Just Jack" is more than a little on the flamer side. Still... who really cares what anyone involved in this story has to say lol

    May 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  105. FrasierCranePhD

    David Hyde Pierce, playing Dr. Niles Crane on the greatest American sitcom of all time: Frasier. Quite possibly the greatest comic character portrayal since Jackie Gleason played Ralph Kramden. The Newsweek writer is a schmuck.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Saturday

    I thought all straight men are "wooden and insincere"
    Sounds like he's playning the role perfectly.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  107. DIANA

    I wonder how many "straight" romatic actors are really in the closet. That's the best acting – you're gay and you're able to fool the public into thinking you're straignt. Too bad they don't give awards for that. Rock Hudson was gay and no one knew it until his death.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |

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