GLAAD Demands Apology From Newsweek Over “Gay Actors Can’t Play Straight” Flap

GLAAD is asking the editors of Newsweek for an apology after running a column by openly gay writer Ramin Setoodeh in which he claimed that gay actors cannot convincingly play straight characters. The creator of the hit Fox show Glee has also called for a boycott of Newsweek.

“An actor’s personal life should not be a factor in their believability in a role,” said Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “That would be tantamount to audiences not buying Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl as lovers in their upcoming film ‘Killers’ because the two are happily married to different people in real life.” GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro said the magazine has not offered the apology sought by the group, but that the topic was discussed with Barrios and Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Milk,” during a Q&A with Newsweek on Wednesday. He said he believed that discussion would be published in the next issue.

Some Hollywood stars blasted the magazine and writer Ramin Setoodeh for an April 26 story that said it was OK for straight actors to play gay roles, but “it’s rare for someone to pull off the trick in reverse.” In the story, Setoodeh criticized Sean Hayes’ latest leading-man performance on Broadway, writing that the openly gay actor “comes off as wooden and insincere, like he’s trying to hide something, which of course he is.” Ryan Murphy, creator of the hit Fox series “Glee,” called for a boycott of the magazine until it apologizes to its gay readers, Hayes and “and other brave out actors who were cruelly singled out in this damaging, needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted piece.”

Numerous openly gay actors and their supporters have publicly blasted Newsweek and Setoodeh since the story was published.