Another Gay Weighs In On The Controversial “Straight Jacket” Article In Newsweek About Gay Actors
I read all the controversy before I read the actual article. All I knew was that a gay writer had written a piece for Newsweek about gay actors not being able to play straight roles (based on a review of Broadway’s Promises, Promises with Sean Hayes and citing several other examples such as the new Glee cast mate, openly gay Jonathan Groff to Rock Hudson and Portia de Rossi) and the gay community was livid. Not only the gay community but celebs such as Kristen Chenoweth (Hayes co-star) were lambasting this writer and demanding his gay and his writer union cards be burned at the stake. Here’s the original article http://www.newsweek.com/id/236999?cnn=yes and after reading it I couldn’t help myself. Another gay weighs in on the controversial “Straight Jacket” article in Newsweek about gay actors – Don’t Get Me Started!
I read the piece and although I haven’t seen the performance of Sean Hayes in Promises, Promises I have to say that I think that on some level the author of this article, Ramin Setodeh is doing what any writer does who writes essays such as the one for Newsweek. He’s giving his opinion and the last time I looked, free speech was still allowed in this country. You can disagree with him all you like and you can voice that opinion from the tallest tree if you want here in America but you can’t deny this guy for voicing his own opinion. It always gets me how people are all about free speech until someone says something that they disagree with or don’t like.
And now for the real shocker to some, I don’t disagree with everything this guy has to say. Frankly I’ve only ever watched three minutes of “How I Met Your Mother” but I’ve always felt as though Neil Patrick Harris reads gay in this role and I don’t think it’s just my gaydar at work. And while I thought that Sean Hayes did an admirable job with his made-for-television bio epic of Jerry Lewis (am I the only one who remembers this and yes, I truly have more worthless knowledge in my head than knowledge worth something) I remember thinking that he read a little gay around the edges in the role, then again, who would say that Jerry Lewis’ characters or even his almost cliché famous lines including, “Laaaaady!” are straight sounding?
When the author talks about revisiting Rock Hudson’s work with the knowledge that he was gay I think he’s looking for something that isn’t there or as I like to put it about the portion of the gay community that wants to believe everyone is gay, he seems to be “looking at the world through gay colored glasses.” I don’t think that Rock Hudson reads gay in his movies but then again I never really thought he was that much of an actor.
While the author talks about the success of straight actors being able to play gay better than gay actors being able to play straight I think he may be right only from a perception factor. What isn’t factored in is that we know way too much about the personal lives of celebrities now (thank TMZ, the 24 hour news cycle and blogs for this one). Frankly my dears I don’t give a damn if Clark Gable had gay affairs (a claim from some book that was written a few years ago) because when he was famous the studio system only allowed us to know what they wanted us to know about the stars and yes, I’m going to say it, I liked it better that way. I don’t need to know about every trial and tribulation a celebrity is going through trying to have a baby or keep their relationship with a sports star passionate. In fact the more I know about someone’s personal life the more it’s going to impede the way that I look at them when I see them on the screen, straight or gay.
I don’t have the foggiest notion what Meryl Streep or Al Pacino’s personal lives are like so when I watch their movies I’m able to only see the character they’re creating. I’m not proposing that actors should “stay in the closet” as bitter uncastable queen Rupert Evert suggests but I also think there’s something to be said for keeping your personal life personal when your job is to create a multitude of different believable characters on stage and screen. I’m not denying that the fault may lie in me for knowing too much about an actor to allow that to get out of my way when I watch their performances. While I can watch early Woody Allen movies with great delight (even to this day) when I see his works after marrying his somewhat step daughter several years his junior all I can think is pedophile and it makes me uncomfortable so I’ve stopped watching his more current movies where he appears in them.
So what I think is that we all know too much about each other and the actors of the world today have lost their mystique so therefore it’s harder to believe the characters they portray on the screen. While old Hollywood made up cat fights and let only the scandals that would help an actor’s career be known, today we all know too much and I think it makes it harder for us to dispend our belief when we see them in a role. The same can be said for real life thanks to Facebook and Twitter where people let us know everything they’re doing from wasting their lives building imaginary farms to having a good bowel movement. And I for one miss some of the good old fashioned acting people did on screen and in real life. Another gay weighs in on the controversial “Straight Jacket” article in Newsweek about gay actors – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com