An interesting controversy is brewing in Hollywood after a Newsweek article came out that said gay actors can't be convincing playing straight characters.
The writer, Ramin Setoodeh, calls out a couple of performances in particular -- Sean Hayes in the Broadway show "Promises, Promises," and new "Glee" cast member Jonathan Groff, openly gay actors who are playing straight roles.
In response, "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy and actress Kristin Chenoweth (who has performed in both shows) both lashed out at the magazine, calling for a boycott after what Murphy called a "damaging, needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted piece."
I can't speak to Hayes' performance, but Groff has been a solid addition to the "Glee" cast.
I also have to say I believe the article is wrong. For example, Neil Patrick Harris turns in a consistently Emmy worthy performance on "How I Met Your Mother," playing a serial womanizer even though the actor himself is gay.
For years, Rock Hudson was a Hollywood sex symbol, even though he was gay in real life (but not open about it). On the female side, actress Cherry Jones has played a convincing wife and mother as the President on "24," and actress Cynthia Nixon has played a symbol of female fashion on "Sex & The City."
Generally, at the end of the day, I try to regard the actor in the performance itself, and not whatever he or she does in their private life. For the most part, I could care less.
The few exceptions I have -- for example, I no longer watch Mel Gibson movies because of his history of anti-Semitism -- generally are more political in nature than an actor's personal life.
As a straight man, I can watch most programs and accept a gay actor in a straight role without much problem, so long as the actor does his job. As a political moderate, I can generally watch actors who I know are activists on one side or the other without too much distraction. For example, the late Ron Silver, a well-known conservative, was exceptional as a Democratic strategist on "The West Wing."
At the end of the day, I'd rather watch a TV show or movie based on its own merits rather than trying to get a rundown of the cast's personal lives.
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: The family's Hawaiian adventure continues on "Modern Family" (ABC, 9 p.m.), which follows a new "The Middle" and precedes "Cougar Town." ABC caps the night with a new "Happy Town" at 10 p.m.
CBS is mostly all-new with "Old Christine" at 8 p.m., followed by "Criminal Minds" at 9 p.m. and "CSI: NY" at 10 p.m.
Fox boots another "American Idol" contestant tonight at 9 p.m., while NBC has new episodes of "Mercy" and "Law & Order: SVU" from 9-11 p.m.
On cable, it's a new "In Plain Sight" (USA, 10 p.m.)
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