Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Playing it Straight

Controversy has recently risen over the Newsweek article claiming that gay men cannot act straight roles. The article has had an onslaught of negative response from the media and celebrity world alike - as it should. A comment that intolerant and downright preposterous is not only damaging to the gay community but also to gay actors. Whoever wrote such an article has clearly been watching T.V, theatre and film with their eyes closed. The guilty writer clearly hadn't done their research, Sir Ian McKellen is infinitely famous for his countless prosperous work of the immortal bard, not to mention every other big screen role he's graced. Glee has hit us hard in both the US and the UK, was it overlooked that Jonathan Groff plays a heterosexual character? The ever increasingly popular in America Neil Patrick Harris also fills our screens with his straight character role, David Hyde Pierce has been flaunting his faux straight relationships on Frasier every morning for as long as i can remember, and those are just the first that spring to mind. Russell Tovey, Gavin Creel, Rupert Everett, all play straight roles, the list goes on.

So why, dare I ask, has such an outrageous claim been made? Where's the proof, the reasoning? A sweeping generalization like that has no right to be published, in any publication, unless that publication happens to be BNP monthly - if that exists i'll kill myself.

The question that initially creeps into my mind is, if gays can't play straights, why can straights play gays? We've seen the likes of Will Smith, Robin Williams, Al Pacino and the late Heath Ledger all showing their affections for men on the screen. It's called acting Newsweek. If Newsweeks hypothesis is correct, which it blatantly isn't, why would they hire straight actors to act gay roles? The reason is because they fit the part. Actors are chosen to who better fits the part, it's that simple, sexuality has nothing to do with it. We even have men playing women and women playing men in the pantomime, and the Japanese regularly practise this in everyday theatre, so why oh why can a gay man not play a straight man?

I give up.

P.s Newsweek watch the program 'Playing it Straight' i think you'd be mortified to see a woman trying to chose the straight men from a group of men, half gay, half straight. I'm personally delighted that the contestants never get it right. How do they pull the wool of their eyes - Acting. End of.

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