Ramin Setoodeh, America’s saddest homosexual writer who claims the “gay elite” attacked him so much over his “Sean Hayes is too queeny to play straight” Newsweek article that he “could not walk through New York’s gay neighborhoods without causing a stir,” is trying to redeem himself. By saying he was right all along. It didn’t go well.
Having returned to Newsweek after a failed effort at People, Setoodeh yesterday pointed to the lack of gay men in leading roles — whether playing straight or gay characters — as some sort of saving grace for his argument back in May that the sexuality of actor Hayes was too much for audiences to overcome in Promises, Promises for him to play the role convincingly. Citing the latest ramblings of Rupert Everett and Richard Chamberlain that coming out is a bad idea for gay actors looking to MAKE IT, Setoodeh writes:
In case you were wondering, the last time a gay man was nominated for an Oscar was in 2002—and Ian McKellen wasn’t even fully human in Lord of the Rings. Forty-seven years after Sidney Poitier shattered the glass ceiling for black actors by winning the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies of the Field, no gay actor has yet achieved leading man status—and probably won’t for some time.
The rationale for these casting decisions is a Catch-22. You could argue that no one gay is on the A-list, so Hollywood has to hire straight people to fill those roles. But it also has to do with something else. Society still shows a prejudice against gay people, especially those who fit the stereotype: feminine men and masculine women. If you’re willing to hide your sexuality, that’s another story. Rock Hudson did that for years, and as long as he didn’t tell, audiences wouldn’t ask, and he could continue playing the leading man. What do you think would have happened if he had walked the red carpet arm-in-arm with his boyfriend?
Which totally explains the Kevin Spaceys of the world!
Some seven months later, Setoodeh is yet again trying to convince us he was not worthy of the ire thrown at him by Ryan Murphy and Cheyenne Jackson and all of you gays for his “Straight Jacket” article. His premise: that he’s just saying something we don’t want to hear.
Alas, his Daily Beast piece only reconfirms Setoodeh is among the last people we want writing about gays in Hollywood. And while he makes some valid — albeit wholly recycled points — about how straight actors are still being cast in gay roles (see: Stanley Tucci, circa always), Setoodeh still misses the difference between an actor’s sexuality and an actor’s mannerisms and career baggage.
Sean Hayes may not have played “straight enough” for Setoodeh, but it had little to do with his orientation, which has him wired to be attracted to other with men. And making that tired argument again simply highlights that the better part of a year later, Setoodeh is still strikingly misinformed. And paid to be that way.