April 27th, 2010
It appears that Newsweek’s Ramin Setoodeh is so insecure in his own sexuality that he is compelled to fall all over himself in his effort to give ammunition to our enemies. Like a dog trained to expect a kick, he never fails in his ability to point out his suspicions about the flaws, failings, and inabilities of gay people.
Setoodeh was the entertainment reporter who went to Oxnard to cover the cold-blooded murder of gay teenager Larry King and instead ran a hit-piece arguing that it was all King’s fault. His murderer, Brandon McInerney, was a sensitive and “smart”, but “troubled”, boy who had been harassed and taunted by King who “flaunted his sexuality and wielded it like a weapon.”
That was, of course, before it was discovered that McInerney had white supremest connections and neo-Nazi beliefs.
In May of last year, Setoodeh predicted that Adam Lambert wouldn’t get into the finals because Christians wouldn’t vote for him. Then in November he wondered whether gay rights were being set back by gay characters on TV such as Kurt on Glee or Marc on Ugly Betty who “stand apart” too much (“if you want to be invited to someone else’s party, sometimes you have to dress the part”)
Well, Setoodeh is back with another column of poorly-contrived speculation presented as thoughtful commentary. And, as usual, while it is dressed up in the pretenses of liberal concern, at heart it’s just an excuse to denigrate gay people.
This time Setoodeh is lamenting the difficulties that gay actors have in getting straight roles, and he’s identified the problem. It’s not that studio execs are leery of hiring them or that straight audiences won’t watch gay actors. No, it’s that gay actors aren’t convincing.
To prove that gay men just can help being big ol’ nelly queens that could never be believable as straight, he brings us two examples. (Gay women are only believable “before” they are gay.)
First, the “real problem” with Promises, Promises is that it stared Sean Hayes, better known as Jack on Will and Grace.
But frankly, it’s weird seeing 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?
And having Jonathan Groff playing a straight role in Glee just destroys that show’s gritty reality and believability.
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.
To Ramin Setoodeh, it’s just a sad, sad, lamentable (but undeniable) fact that gay actors should be relegated to the hairdresser and prison guard roles. And besides, those roles don’t challenge Setoodeh’s own comfort level.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
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