Alan Cumming | Glee | News | Ramin Setoodeh

Newsweek Writer Ramin Setoodeh Accepts Set Invite from 'Glee' Creator Ryan Murphy; Alan Cumming Slams Setoodeh

Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee who called for a boycott of Newsweek following Ramin Setoodeh's controversial article asserting that gay actors are unconvincing as heterosexuals, says that Setoodeh has accepted an offer from him to visit the set of Glee, watch the casting process, and discuss why Murphy found the article so reprehensible.

Writes Murphy in an open letter: Setoodeh  

"Ramin Setoodeh, the author of the article, reached out to me today and accepted my offer to sit with myself and the writers of Glee — Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan — to discuss not only why we found the piece so offensive, but also to observe our creative process and see how we construct a TV show dedicated exclusively to the idea of inclusiveness and acceptance for all — ideas solely absent in his ‘Straight Jacket’ article... 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."

Murphy also says he's awaiting a better response from Newsweek:

"I want to issue a personal thank you to GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios, writer/director Dustin Lance Black and countless others who have joined me in condemning Newsweek magazine and asking for an apology for their recent article ‘Straight Jacket,’ a hurtful bigoted diatribe in which they basically asserted that gay actors should not play straight roles because they are not “believable.” So far, Newsweek magazine has declined to issue an apology, other than to say they are big fans of the show I co-created, Glee — even the straight dudes around the Newsweek offices. I say thanks for your support, however glib, and continue — with many others offended by the article — to wait for a more substantial articulate response."

Read the full letter at EW.

In related news, actor Alan Cumming writes a long piece on the Setoodeh controversy.

Writes Cumming:  Cumming  

"Ramin Seetodeh is gay. He is a self-hating gay, and he is a danger to us all, not just gay people - as is apparent by the above, hideous quasi-apology for the classroom shooting of a boy - but everyone on this planet because Newsweek is allowing his dangerous and insidiously warped messages to be published and enter society to fuel the flames of shame, fear, anger and, in this case, homophobia. His words allow people to validate their bigoted and fearful views of gay people, especially because he is gay himself. Which brings me to the crux, and I promise, the swansong of my thesis...

It is my contention that Ramin Seetodeh is not happy with himself. He has particlaur shame about being gay. He sees gayness, paricularly open and unabashed gayness, or effeminacy, as a reminder of what he does not like about himself. And so he attacks it. His own shame translates into his paralysis when thinking of others who might have his own curse and yet be able to function fully and happily within the rest of the world: a child chasing his friends around a playground in high heels; an actor who he knows is publicly gay but feels he needs to re-out to make himself feel better about his own self-loathing and lack of acceptance of his most basic needs and happiness. As someone who is a only a decade or so immigrant to these shores, I have noticed that shame is one of America's biggest exports, imbibed more domestically than overseas, and Mr Seetodeh could easily manage its Gay division."

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Comments

  1. God, I hadn't realized he was the guy who wrote that terrible, terrible article on Lawrence King --- one of the worst examples of "journalism" ever. And he's gay?!?

    He needs to be blackballed by the entire gay community and all of our allies. A campaign should be started to get him sacked from his job. Alan Cumming was not creating a hyperbole -- this Newsweek writer is a *huge frakking danger to us all*.

    Andy, please include the Newsweek contact info for complaints. We need 10,000 people to write emails to Newsweek explaining this columnist is NOT acceptable and needs to be fired for his dangerous and homophobic work.

    Posted by: Ryan | May 14, 2010 4:06:06 PM


  2. Wow, Cummings is too bright.

    Thank god people are turning on this cesspool that is Ramin.

    A**hat.

    Posted by: Rowan | May 14, 2010 4:13:38 PM


  3. Right on Alan Cumming! Most excellent piece. As an openly gay man I applaud you for speaking the truth about Setoodeh. Reminds me of Quinton Crisp who thought he was the only "real" gay in the world and all the rest of the gay men and women were beneath him. Fuck Setoodeh and fuck Newsweek for promoting such outright homophobia!

    Posted by: The OS2Guy | May 14, 2010 4:20:02 PM


  4. @ JUBAL I'd love to know where you live.

    You said:"Actually, it's cowardice plain and simple. You can cloak it however you wish to but the truth of the matter is people like you and Setoodeh are cowards, period. Embrace the fact that you are the way you are, but get out of my fucking way."

    First of all, rude. Second of all, assumptive much? You've made my point. You'd rather label me as a "coward" than to look at the realities of what I said. Because you don't like the reality of homophobia and the reality of hate crimes against us, you want to make the jump that I must be a coward simply because I'm aware of my surroundings?. It makes you feel better to think you are bolder than me? Have at it.

    I know me, you don't. I know who I am and I love being gay. I've been open and out since my freshman year of college. I have my job of 15 years now because of being in full drag one night (in a very straight part of town) and impressing some random straight guy who offered me a job. Never underestimate the power of a beehive. I'm very comfortable with myself and I'm a vocal, staunch supporter of gay rights. But I'm not stupid.

    I'm not defending Setoodeh or his article, what I'm focusing on is the TRUTH of what he said. The truth that we are still second class citizens. To me, that's alot worse and more interesting to talk about than being angered because the author is a pissy queen.

    People are focusing the anger on the idiot messenger instead of the problem.

    Dallas


    Posted by: Dallas | May 14, 2010 5:50:03 PM


  5. Right on, Dallas.

    Posted by: shane | May 14, 2010 9:17:23 PM


  6. @Dallas: What you ought to do is read this article from Vanity Fair Online that delves into Mr. Setoodeh's history of bashing effeminate-acting gays and face the TRUTH of what has been going on. He has been writing from the point of view of someone who IS self-loathing and insecure. He has it out for gays who act "too gay" and blames them for just about everything except 9/11. He is dead wrong about gays being able to be convincing in straight roles. I could point to dozens of examples off the top of my head.
    Even the examples he gives show his own bigotry rather than any kind of legitimate criticism. I found Mr. Groff to be completely convincing on "Glee" and only learned that he was gay when I read the ridiculous and offensive criticism of him being "too queeny". So Mr. Setoodeh and I watched the same performance and the only problem is what is going on in Mr. Setoodeh's own head.
    I knew Kevin Spacey was gay when I watched "American Beauty",
    I knew John Mahoney was gay when I watched him on "Frasier" and in "Moonstruck" and in "Say Anything", I knew Robert Reed was gay when I watched reruns of "The Brady Bunch", I knew Jane Lynch was gay when I saw "Julia and Julia", I knew Charles Laughton and Monty Clift were gay when I saw most of their films, etc, etc, etc.
    I had no problem believing them as straight in their roles.
    I did have a problem believing William Hurt was gay in "Kiss of the Spider Woman", or that Tom Hanks was gay in "Philadelphia".
    The idea that it works so well when straights play gay but not so well when gays play straight is a grossly ignorant and damaging thesis that is doubly shameful coming from a gay man. He deserves every bit of scorn that he has brought on himself.

    Posted by: StillMarriedinCA | May 14, 2010 10:03:09 PM


  7. Here's the link to the Vanity Fair article. read it.
    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/05/newsweeks-ramin-setoodeh-cant-stand-sissies.html

    Posted by: StillMarriedinCA | May 14, 2010 10:06:30 PM


  8. @StillMarried. I'll totally read the article when I get a chance. Thanks for the heads up. Understand that I don't disagree with you about Ramin being a putz (potentially since I have not read the article yet) and actually agree with you on just about everything you wrote.

    I think the only flaw in your well thought out list of gay actors accomplishments is that they weren't publicly out at the time and/or they weren't "leading men".

    I am and was surprised by the media focus on what Ramin said... as if he had created the problem...or as if there wasn't a problem. Watch the Joy Behar clip to see what I mean. Dan Savage gets it completely right while Amanda Bearse is talking as if there isn't a problem for gay actors...and there is. Unfortunately.

    Just because you and I can suspend disbelief and are willing to accept anyone in a role is unfortunately not how the Hollywood machine thinks general audiences feel.

    If Ramin had been smart, he would have used his preconceptions about Sean Hayes and Glee-boy to question HIS opinion on their work and extrapolated that out to a wider audience. Thus revealing his own shortcomings to draw attention to a problem in our society that he too falls victim to.

    Anyway, if I were a more eloquent writer I could have been more clear from the beginning about my thoughts. I just think one can legitimately disagree with, or shine a light on, parts of one's culture without being labeled "self-hating". I'm white and trust that I have a BIG problem with many aspects of American/white culture...that doesn't mean I hate my white self. :) So, I tend to give some push back when I see people jump on a labeling binge.

    But like I said earlier, I'm not defending Ramin or his character.


    Dallas

    Posted by: Dallas | May 15, 2010 12:28:39 AM


  9. Setoodeh, in the CRITIC portion of Newsweek, CRITIQUED Hayes' performance and added that he, as a viewer, had a hard time seeing Hayes as straight in the role due to his "queenie" role in Will & Grace - and then cited a similar situation of some gay actors not being believable in straight roles -- this is not homophobic, and attempts to portray the gay writer as self-hating only serve to make writers like Cumming (and most readers of this blog) feel better - if gays and straights have gaydar - and they do, and speak proudly and openly of it, then it affects more than finding a partner or office gossip; some gays pass, some don't, and some roles played well are hard for actors to dissociate from for some audience members - heck, Cummings' not played straight for a decade now - and he's bi

    Posted by: Rox | May 15, 2010 1:56:55 AM


  10. I cancelled my subscription to Newsweek - not that it matters as the magazine is now approximately one third of the size it used to be in is no longer really a news magazine but a magazine of op-ed pieces and personal opinions. Most of what you find in Newsweek is available from better writers for free on the web anyway.

    Newsweek, Time and US News & World Report have all outlived their usefulness and are simply dying a slow death. The end of the weekly (or should I say weakly) news magazine is long past they are apparently just waiting for their last subscriber to die before shutting down the presses and going home.

    Posted by: ChrisM | May 15, 2010 10:03:19 AM


  11. Obviously Ramin Setoodeh believes that he is one of those "straight acting" gays (whatever that is) and has issues with men how do not meet his expectations of masculinity. Having seen Ramin on television I would suggest that he take a harder and more honest look at his own masculinity as he doesn't come across as all that "straight acting". Maybe he should ask Andrew Sullivan how it's done.

    Posted by: ChrisM | May 15, 2010 10:09:16 AM


  12. @ gregoire. it's also code for "rat denies homo"

    Posted by: Anna Gramm | May 15, 2010 11:10:25 PM


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