Glee creator Ryan Murphy called for a boycott of Newsweek after a recent article argued that gay actors aren't believable playing straight men.
In an open letter released Tuesday, he called the Newsweek column a "damaging, needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted piece."
Kristin Chenoweth calls Newsweek article "homophobic"
In the piece, writer Ramin Setoodeh labeled Glee guest star Jonathan Groff as "your average theater queen," and characterized Sean Hayes' performance in Broadway's Promises, Promises as "wooden." Hayes' co-star, Kristin Chenoweth released a statement criticizing the column earlier this week.
"This article is as misguided as it is shocking and hurtful," the 43-year-old Murphy wrote. "It shocks me because Mr. Setoodeh is himself gay. But what is the most shocking of all is that Newsweek went ahead and published such a blatant homophobic article in the first place ... and has remained silent in the face of ongoing (and justified) criticism. Would the magazine have published an article where the author makes a thesis statement that minority actors should only be allowed and encouraged to play domestics? I think not."
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In his letter, Murphy encouraged others to boycott the magazine until it issued an apology to those actors targeted in the article, as well as gay readers.
In his letter, Murphy also invited Setoodeh, a self-proclaimed fan of Glee, to the writers' room and the set to see an example of what Murphy called an inclusive show.
"Hopefully, some of the love we attempt to spread will rub off on Mr. Setoodeh -- a gay man deeply in need of some education -- and he not only apologizes to those he has deeply offended but pauses before he picks up his poison pen again to work through the issues of his own self loathing. Give me a call, Ramin ... I'd love to hear from you. I'll even give you a free copy of our Madonna CD, on which we cover 'Open Your Heart,' a song you should play in your house and car on repeat."
Setoodeh responded to Chenoweth's criticism in an article posted Monday, saying he believed the true thesis of his piece — questioning how much progress has really been made by gays in Hollywood — was misinterpreted.
"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," he wrote. "I was sharing my honest impression about a play that I saw. If you don't agree with me, I'm more than happy to hear opposing viewpoints. But I was hoping to start a dialogue that would be thoughtful — not to become a target for people who twisted my words. I'm not a conservative writer with an anti-gay agenda. I don't hate gay people or myself."
The magazine 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)."
Newsweek lost $28.1 million last year and was put up for sale by the Washington Post Co. last week. "I did not want to do this, but it is a business," Donald E. Graham, the company's chairman and chief executive, told The New York Times. "We don't see a sustained path to profitability for Newsweek."