Glee creator Ryan Murphy will meet with the writer of the Newsweek article he called a "hurtful bigoted diatribe."
In a new open letter released Thursday to Entertainment Weekly, Murphy said that Ramin Setoodeh contacted him earlier that day to accept his offer — posed in his first open letter on Tuesday — to visit the Glee writers' room to discuss why they took offense at the piece and for Seetodeh to see an example of what Murphy called an inclusive show. Murphy also said Setoodeh can observe the show's casting process so he can witness and speak to the actors, who are encouraged to read for all roles on the Fox series "no matter what their sexual orientation, color or gender."
Glee creator Ryan Murphy calls for Newsweek boycott after "bigoted" article
"Who cares who you are or who you sleep with — men, women, sheep — frankly, it's none of our business or concern," Murphy wrote. "The actor with the best audition should get the part. On Glee, straight actors play gay roles, gay actors play straight roles and no one is discriminated against. I hope observing this process firsthand — and talking with our cast — will be illuminating to Mr. Setoodeh, and inform his future journalistic endeavors."
In his Newsweek column, Seetodeh called Glee star Jonathan Groff an "average theater queen" and said Sean Hayes was too "wooden" to pass as Kristin Chenoweth's love interest in Broadway's Promises, Promises. Chenoweth released a statement criticizing the piece over the weekend, followed by Murphy, who called for a boycott of Newsweek. GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios echoed Murphy's boycott of the magazine.
Both Seetodeh, who's gay, and Newsweek have since defended the article, saying Seetodeh's true point — questioning how much progress has really been made by gays in Hollywood — was misinterpreted.
Kristin Chenoweth calls Newsweek article "homophobic"
Barrios and Oscar-winning Milk
screenwriter Dustin Lance Black
, however, both take issue with Seetodeh and Newsweek
's interpretation of the article in a follow-up interview
with the magazine's culture editor, Marc Peyser."[T]hat wasn't really what I got from the article. I wish that's what the article was about," Black said. "To me, the article seemed to be attacking gay and lesbian people's ability to — talent
to — take on heterosexual roles. ... The heterosexual people in America don't seem to be having that problem with these performances, or seeing that, but this writer did. And to me it felt like it became more about this writer's
issues with sexuality and masculinity than it did the success of these performances. "Added Barrios: "With all respect, that might have been what he [Setoodeh] implied, but that's not what he said. He said, for example, that Sean Hayes wasn't believable. How could somebody who was 'queeny' in Will & Grace
be believable in Promises, Promises
? As if to say that because in one role he was effeminate, he was no longer a candidate for a noneffeminate role later in his career?"
GLAAD: Newsweek article sends a "damaging" message
In his new letter, Murphy thanked Barrios and Black for joining him in "condemning Newsweek
magazine and asking for an apology" for running the article. Murphy said he will listen to Seetodeh's reasons for writing the article with "an open heart and mind." He said Seetodeh told him he feels "unfairly attacked" since the backlash began."Vicious anonymous attacks — which Mr. Setoodeh feels he has been subjected to over the past two days — aren't cool or acceptable, and get us nowhere," Murphy wrote. "What DOES move the ball forward is education and a fair and open dialogue, and I want Mr. Setoodeh to know that all of us at Glee
are committed to that, and encourage it."