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Posts for May, 2010

Chenoweth defends gay actors from Setoodeh

Timothy Kincaid

May 10th, 2010

There are few people who delight me more than Kristen Chenoweth. This talented woman is known to many as a Tony winning star of Broadway (including originating the role of Galinda in Wicked), but those outside of New York have more recently got to know her from her Emmy-winning role as Olive Snook in the very quirky Pushing Daisies, or from her guest role on Glee.

But one of the things that make Chenoweth special is that she is unapologetic about both her Christian faith and her advocacy for the gay community. To Kristen, these go hand in hand.

And when she read the nonsensical Newsweek column by Ramin Setoodeh in which he laments that gay people just aren’t convincing in straight roles, she didn’t smile sweetly and go on. It turns out that Chenoweth has worked with the actors in the roles that Setoodeh just couldn’t believe. She is costarring in Promises, Promises opposite Sean Hayes and guest-starred on a recent Glee episode with Jonathan Groff.

I’d normally keep silent on such matters and write such small-minded viewpoints off as perhaps a blip in common sense. But the offense I take to this article, and your decision to publish it, is not really even related to my profession or my work with Hayes or Jonathan Groff (also singled out in the article as too “queeny” to play “straight.”)

This article offends me because I am a human being, a woman and a Christian.

I am grateful (but not too surprised) that Chenoweth defended her fellow actors. But it is an additional joy to see her do so in terms that stand much anti-gay bigotry on its ear. Kristen’s spiritual devotion may seem irrelevant to many who already agree with us, but her faith gives her a voice to reach many who might otherwise dismiss her as ‘godless Hollywood’.

I believe that the tipping point on gay rights will come when more people see equality not as something that they can support despite their faith, but must support because of it. Kristin is already there.

Click here to read Kristin’s full statement.