GLAAD: Newsweek Article Sends a "Damaging" Message
Jarrett Barrios, Ryan Murphy
GLAAD has joined Glee creator Ryan Murphy in seeking an apology from Newsweek after a recent article argued that gay actors aren't believable playing straight men.
"Whether he intended it to or not, Ramin Setoodeh's article in Newsweek sends a false and damaging message about gay actors by endorsing the idea that there are limits to the roles they are able to play," GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in a statement. "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender actors can play a wide variety of diverse roles and Setoodeh's perspective on this issue reflects his own discomfort that he attempts to project onto the audience by indicting Sean Hayes instead of examining his own inability to embrace gay actors in straight roles."
Glee creator Ryan Murphy calls for Newsweek boycott after "bigoted" article
Murphy released an open letter Tuesday calling for a boycott of the magazine because of the "damaging, needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted piece."
Barrios also took issue with Setoodeh's TV appearances following the article's publication. On the Tuesday's edition of The Joy Behar Show, Setoodeh said of Neil Patrick Harris' role as the womanizing Barney on How I Met Your Mother: "He's not really a romantic lead where women are actually supposed to believe him as a heterosexual character."
"Whatever Setoodeh's intentions or beliefs, Newsweek is ultimately responsible for having published this deeply problematic essay and consciously or not, promoting and encouraging Setoodeh's discomfort," Barrios said. "GLAAD has been in dialogue with Newsweek to provide space for views on the subject that expand their readers' understanding of this issue past the harmful attitudes of writers like Setoodeh, whose perspective is used to pressure gay actors to stay closeted."
Kristin Chenoweth calls Newsweek article "homophobic"
Setoodeh responded to the criticism Monday, following a statement from Kristin Chenoweth regarding the story's description of her Promises, Promises co-star Hayes' performance as "wooden."
"My article became a straw man for homophobia and hurt in the world. If you were pro-gay, you were anti-Newsweek. Chenoweth's argument that gay youth need gay role models is true, but that's not what I was talking about," Setoodeh wrote.
Newsweek also defended its decision to publish the article. "Ramin Setoodeh wrote a thoughtful, honest essay on a controversial topic. It's unfortunate that his argument has been misunderstood and he has been unfairly accused of bigotry," Newsweek said in a statement, referring readers to Setoodeh's response. "We also hope we still get our advance copies of Glee because here at Newsweek we're among the show's biggest fans (even the straight folks)."