writers blocked

Newsweek‘s Ramin Setoodeh Is Talking About Gays In Hollywood Again. Uh Oh

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.

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  • Fitz

    Since there seem to be so many gay bashers out there, couldn’t we throw them a sacrificial bone and let them take maybe Ramin and Elton and just have some fun?

  • Cam

    So his argument is that openly gay men not being in leading roles is because they can’t play straight and so that proves his point…..

    Um….yeeeaaaahhhhhh…..or it could mean that Hollywood is homophobic and won’t cast an openly gay man.

    Perhaps he should cite somebody like Neil Patrick Harris rather than using two much much older men from a different generation as his source.

    Additionally, Everett had a career, but he pissed it away. He came off of “My Best Friends Wedding” and proceeded to do “The Next Best Thing” with Madonna…a HORRIBLE abortion of a movie that could have killed anybody’s career. The fact that he continued to make movied after that shows that his career wasn’t killed by his being out.

  • MikeE

    Oh, come on, he’s talking “mannerisms” here.

    If that is in ANY way true, then Johnny Depp should NEVER be popular in a movie as the leading man. Could a straight man be any more feminine than he? Does anyone care?

    The same could, quite honestly, be said about Jim Carrey. He’s a goofball and all, but at the bottom of it, his mannerisms are “effeminate”. Is he any less popular because of it?

    So neither of them is Hugh Jackman,or Ryan Reynolds… but really, look at either of those two in interviews, and ask yourself: “could I easily imagine either of them being gay?” The answer is a glaring “yes”. They aren’t the hyper butch manly-man types of yesteryear’s stereotypical John Wayne era. They look like half the guys I see in bars around town: no butcher, no femmer.

  • Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch... (John From England)


    He did cite NPH. Read the article. NPH has been treated badly for being out. Hosting shows? Haven’t the gays been doing that for…like ever??

    I agree with this article though. It was a weird and crap piece by that creep. Why he has the job? Who knows but obv he effed the right people to get in, so whateves.

    Gay people as well as straight people, can’t seem to grasp that not all gay men are effeminate. This guy is really camp and he is so typical of gays who hate guys who aren’t like them or who maybe didnt suffer as much as them because they got away with being perceived straight at school or in life.

    I wonder if he has ever bothered to right about Gareth Thomas? He has soo many opinions about gay culture and gays in culture but I guess Thomas isn’t queeny enough for this a$$hole.

    Cheyenne Jackson is camp but I thought he convinced me of being with Liz Lemon, though I think he’s too used to acting in plays that it seemed like he was ‘acting’. He filled into his role more so towards the end.

  • David Ehrenstein

    2011 is just three days old and with Ramin we’ve already got DOUCHE OF THE YEAR!

  • Charlie

    “…but it had little to do with his orientation, which has him wired to be attracted to other with men…”

    Hmmm now here you seem to be saying that gay men can play these roles but queeny men can’t… which really isn’t far from what Ramin said in his piece. They are ACTORS. They can inhabit a role even if they swish in real life. Didn’t Hayes rather successfully portray Jerry Lewis?

  • justiceontherocks

    This Ramin guy figured out that there is still prejudice. He is one smart son of a bitch.

    Who gives a rat’s ass whether any of these actors is gay or straight? And who can believe the PR crap that comes out of Hollywood anyway?

  • greenmanTN

    Setoodeh is doing some backtracking from his original piece, which boiled down to “Sean Hayes is such a sissy-Mary you can’t believe him in a straight role” then expanded that criticism in a way that seemed to include ALL gay actors, particularly “out” ones. Now he’s scurried backward to a safer, more defensible position, pretending it was what he meant all along.

    It still remains to be seen whether audiences can “accept” an openly gay actor as a straight romantic lead so in this he has a point, or at least an opinion, that so far hasn’t been disproved. (NPH doesn’t count. He wasn’t “out” when hired and he’s playing a comic part, a heel who doesn’t really connect with the women he sleeps with. If his character suddenly announced he was gay it would actually make sense.)

    We don’t know yet, but there’s some evidence that audiences can’t accept their romantic fantasy figures being played by someone whose real life is the opposite. How many times has a straight actor played a gay role then been dogged for YEARS by gay rumors and speculation, most often by gay gossip columnists and fans? If the actor is convincing (and attractive) in a gay role then gay fans don’t want to accept that it was “acting,” that it was all fake. Why would you expect straight audiences to be any different?

    The flip-side of that question is that even if audiences CAN accept a gay actor in a straight role, whether casting agents, directors, and producers who are trying to make a widely marketable product in order to make money (as opposed to “art”) will ever give an openly gay actor the chance to prove that theory wrong.


    A Gay man playing straight roles hasn’t really hurt the angry cult midget’s career……….

  • SteveC

    John Travolta, where are yoooooouuuuuu?
    Queen Latifah, where are yooooouuuuuuu?

  • Jon

    Why are you all bashing this guy for speaking the truth?

  • Eminent Victorian

    So it seems that the very idiocy that caused so many of us to say, “What is his problem?” about this writer is now his schtick. He’ll mile this schtick as long as he can. He’s pretty much ensured his writing career has a short lifespan now, I hope, but he’ll probably end up collecting a paycheck at Fox.

  • Eminent Victorian

    So it seems that the very idiocy that caused so many of us to say, “What is his problem?” about this writer is now his schtick. He’ll mine this schtick as long as he can. He’s pretty much ensured his writing career has a short lifespan now, I hope, but he’ll probably end up collecting a paycheck at Fox.

  • J.

    I don’t think that out people like Rupert or Sean aren’t popular because they’re gay, but because their so self-loathing they’re icky to watch. NPH, on the other hand, has a good sense of humor and people respond to that.

  • testington

    His argument is a logical fallacy, without an example of an out, butch gay man he can’t argue that audiences don’t belive/reject gay actors in straight roles. The issue is that nobody is casting any masculine out men, not that audiences would have a problem with it. There are gay actos who can play straight, they just aren’t on the A list or even B list. But hopefully that will change, that is why I was glad to see somebody like Amber Herd come out, she is on her way to being a household name and is very feminine and so far has only played straight roles.

  • jack

    Could you also include a byline for the photo editor who chose the image? It would be helpful to know the name of such a hater.

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