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Newsweek-gate: GLAAD weighs in

Groff1The hubub surrounding Newsweek’s now-infamous article “Straight Jacket,” about gay actors playing straight roles, continues to grow.

Writer Ramin Setoodah, who is gay, criticized “Glee” actor Jonathan Groff for his “theater-queen” portrayal on the show as Rachel’s current love interest.   It went on to criticize Sean Hayes’ performance in the Broadway revival of “Promises, Promises,” saying the former “Will & Grace” actor, who recently revealed he was gay, was unconvincing as the musical’s lead:  It was "weird seeing Hayes play straight. He comes off as wooden and insincere.” 

The viral firestorm started with Kristin Chenoweth, who pushed back. Then there was "Ugly Betty's" Michael Urie. "Glee "creator Ryan Murphy issued an open letter -- posted on EW.com -- urging folks to boycott Newsweek until it issued a mea culpa for publishing the article, which Murphy called “damaging, needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted.” 

GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios is the latest to weigh in:

“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,” Barrios said in the statement. 

In his statement, Barrios said GLAAD joined Murphy in the call for an apology.

Show Trackers, what did you think of the Newsweek article?

For more on Newsweek-gate, check out our sister blogs Ministry of Gossip and The Big Picture.

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Jonathan Groff as Jesse St. James. Credit: Fox

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Comments () | Archives (8)

Ironically, I didn't know Jonathan Groff was gay until it was mentioned in Setoodeh's story.

And, I didn't know Setoodeh was gay until I read that at MSNBC.com yesterday.

I wonder if I'll be able to read his Newsweek stuff in the same way now that I ... oops, that's how this all started.

An apology is definitely in order. I read his "clarification" about what he meant and it doesn't fly. This is 2010, not 1960, or even 1990, when it wasn't safe to come out. That he is gay makes it even worse; he seems a bit self-hating. Perhaps he will come to his senses as he gets older, but I'm not holding my breath. If theatre and TV audiences have embraced the shows these men are in, why can't Setoodah? I do know what I'm talking about, as an out-and-proud lesbian since 1977.

Yeah. He needs to retract many of his comments, because he's hyper-aware of who is and who isn't, and I doubt that the great majority of the TV audience is or that it really cares. It's called ACTING. I notice he has no problems with Matthew Bomer, who's out, playing a straight character in White Collar, but who knows what Mr. Setoodeh would read into his performances. And, yes, I've been out for almost 40 years now.

Like Joe B, I had no idea that Jonathan Groff was gay. He actually has way more chemistry with Rachel than Finn does. Seriously, he just seems like an artsy high school guy. Not every straight guy in high school is on the football team, for goodness sake.

I agree with Laura. I had no idea, either. It's hard enough for actors and actresses to get work. This seems to make it worse.

Sean Penn won an Oscar playing a gay guy. Double standard anyone?

I was shocked when I learnt about this. I had no idea Jonathan was gay until I googled him up, and Jesse was a wonderful addition to 'Glee' - he seems a better match for Rachel than Finn is or will be.
It seems the author thinks homosexual actors can only play homosexual characters. Shouldn't he be praising the choice of an openly gay actor for such a key role in one of the hottest TV shows on air right now?

Ok this is a bit delayed but I watched a doco on 'Spring Awakening' last night and had to google Jonathan Groff. I had no idea he was gay. I thought he was great with Lea Michele in 'Glee'. I also read the original article and I thought it was really shallow and WRONG. I think the author has some unresolved issues. It was a loathsome article and quite disparaging about the actors involved who as ACTORS are brilliant. I adore Sean Hayes and I don't see him as a gay actor but as an actor, same goes for NPH and oh I can't be bothered - it's also so silly but at the same time a lot of kids on the verge of coming out find it extremely difficult due to the level of bullying and criticism etc. Articles like these seem to box people in undeservedly.


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