1. Chris says

    I say we send this queen back to Slumdog Millionaireland and lets see how she responds to their criticism.

    Can anyone say “Honor Killings”?

    But Seriously!?! I’ll never understand queens who do shit like this very pathetic!

  2. Dan says

    His published response in Newsweek is pretty weak sauce and essentially amounts to “You guys missed my point. When I said that gay actors can’t play straight, what I REALLY meant was that there aren’t any huge leading men who are out. Also, people are mean to me now.”
    Not that I condone any of the letters etc he has received (really people, grow up), but he seems to have failed completely to defend himself in that piece, or even his original thesis.

  3. Jondathan says

    What he is really saying without realizing it is “if I know an actor is gay I can’t get past it if that actor is playing a straight person and because I’m such an idiot the rest of the public must be too.”

    The dialogue he wanted to open was basically hoping poeple would reply “yeah, you’re right, it’s kind of icky when someone I know is gay plays a straight person.”

  4. Joshua says

    For those that follow the real news (no offense to Andy, I love you dearly) but Newsweeks is up for sale. Does anyone else think that Jon Meacham purposely let this controversial article through to prove a point that Newsweek is still relevant? Even though for the past decade, nobody has cared the magazine.

    I honestly call a publicity stunt, but this article is still irresponsible, offensive and obviously written but a self-loathing homo.

  5. pete says

    This guy is like Rekker. He has a negative belief system about gay people that he projects outwardly upon other people. Just because he can’t accept himself does not mean that other people who are comfortable with their sexuality can’t accept actors as actors. Being out does not preclude that one has accepted oneself . He, like Rekker, needs to stop attacking other gay people and begin dealing with his own negative belief system.

  6. says

    It’s such a cynical way to bolster one’s fame (take huge swaths of other people down) but it’s working for him.

    It just angers me that people are acting like this is a serious question. Are we really to believe, for example, that it’s a legit argument that Sir Ian McKellen for example — widely considered one of the greatest actors alive — is unsuitable for most of the roles he’s ever played?

    Setoodeh needs to apologize but instead he’s just whining and making things worse with his cynicism and internalized homophobia

  7. Strepsi says

    @CHRIS — Don’t be so disgustingly racist, he is an American born and raised.

    In fairness, Setoodeh raised an interesting question: WHY are there no gay Out leading men? Can in fact “society” accept it yet withot thinking of gay buttsecks?

    Unfortunately, where he totally failed is he answered not for society, but for HIMSELF: and he answered WRONG. he blamed the actors for not being able to play straight!!! The article was a fail, and yes much criticism missed his article’s thesis — but we did not miss the POINT. Which was wrong.

  8. Matt in Atlanta says

    Neil Patrick Harris is out, and he’s still accepted as a woman-hungry leading man on How I Met Your Mother, so I’m not sure how the whole George Clooney point is going to work for Setoodeh.

  9. jack says

    savage surprised me, as he often does at his take. i have to assume there was a no bloodbath clause in his contract. that was NOT the point of his original article.

    and he has a body of work that, upon examination, supports the label of self loathing internally homophobic caricature of a gay man.

  10. Josh says

    Ramin has a long history of homophobia….

    Not only did he write this piece disparaging gay actors who play straight roles…

    Not only did he blame effeminate gays and actors for hurting gay marriage….

    Not only did he go on O’Reilly to do a hit piece on Adam Lambert last season on American Idol (where he depicted Kris as a good straight Christian and Adam as a godless heathen gay even though it was known that Adam was Jewish)…..

    But he also blamed that 8th grade kid (Lawrence King) that was murdered by his classmate (who shot him in the head in class) for his own murder because he dressed effeminately at school and therefore was flaunting his sexuality.

    I don’t care what Ramin or his friends say, he is a DISGUSTING SELF HATER who has an obvious problem with effeminate gays.

    It is important for us to defend the most effeminate gays because they are the ones who face the most ire from the haters.

    Ramin wants us to pile on them too and throw them under the bus.

    Ramin’s self hating homophobia NEEDS to be condemned by the gay community.

  11. Rascal says

    Considering the complete lack of courage and integrity on the part of Hollywood agents and producers, this PR stunt has undoubtedly set the clock back substantially on this issue.

    Utterly shameful of Newsweek, which should be buried rather than sold.

  12. CKNJ says

    Ramin has some valid points but he did a REALLY bad job of getting them across… his writing leaves something to be desired when he creates a piece intended to help dialogue and the gay cause, and he just ends up sounding homophobic…

    So perhaps THAT is where he needs to concentrate his efforts: on improving how he gets his point across in writing and verbally… eg: he said Neil Patrick Harris was straight when he got his role on How I Met Your Mother… actually NO he was gay all the time, but he was not out professionally.

    He may not have been intending to come across as criticizing the actors instead if the moronic audiences that can’t look past the pink haze…. but in fact his whole article came across as if it was written by a bigot, which, since he is a gay man himself, I assume was not his intention.

    So my point is, he needs to examine his writing craft to find out how he screwed up a potentially useful piece of writing so badly!

  13. James says

    Boycott Newsweek? As if anyone needs to go out of their way to not purchase that piece of shit. What we should boycott is Ramin Setoodeh. No sex for him from now on. Of course, as if anyone needs to go out of their way not to sleep with that piece of shit.

  14. says

    is anyone else disappointed that the usually fierce Dan Savage is just pussyfotting around this guy?

    the more i think about this issue the more i hate this guy. And I don’t normally get to hate so easily.

    talk about making things worse for everyone. it’s already so hard for actors. And complaining that someone seems too much like a theatrical drama queen on GLEE is missing the point of GLEE entirely. 😉

  15. says

    If you watch the clip of him on MSNBC you can clearly tell his readers did not miss the point, it was him who failed to properly articulate and frame his message.

    I think what he was trying to get across is that homosexuality is still a big issue for some people (including him) and seeing a openly gay actor is distracting and a reminder that these people are just acting. I think that in itself is a fair assessment. It’d be like seeing Kate Gosslin try to act, even if she was good, the entire time you’d be thinking about her personal life.

  16. GGREEN says

    This happens any time Dan Savage gets near Hollywood /Broadway/Celebrities. His lips pucker and he becomes a fierce ass kisser. Dose anyone remember him coming on to Ashton Kutcher on Real Time he really embarrassed himself. Joy really gave this guy a pass he keeps saying his article meant something else. Which is bullshit. Sorry Joy and Dan you both SUCK on this issue and not in a good way.

  17. rick says

    i usually agree with dan, maybe he had his own agenda this time. he was so embarrassing on bill maher when he was leering at ashton kusher. ur someone’s dad for chrissake, remember?

  18. hephaestion says

    Chris, I disagree with Setoodeh, but please don’t tell a Texan of Iranian heritage to “go back to Slumdog Millionnaireland.” (i.e., India) You are better than that. I hope.

  19. Fred says

    So now this story goes from bad to worse as Ramin Setoodeh states, “if an actor of the stature of George Clooney came out of the closet today, would we still accept him as a heterosexual leading man?”

    Of all actors he could name he chooses George Clooney – Come Out Come Out where ever you are!

  20. Andy F says

    I think the columnist’s problem is that his article was written more from an editorial standpoint, but was not stated as such.

    The topic of gay actors playing straight roles is subject to opinion, just as the quality of any film or performance is subject to criticism – everyone’s a critic! Since it’s an arts-based issue, there aren’t really any facts on the reception of gay actors playing straight. He’s taking his opinions of a handful and calling it empirical evidence. But his perceptions are not everyone’s, and since his article was published, there was certain proof of that!

    Personal attacks are never pretty, but I guess he needs to consider if he wants to be taken seriously as a journalist, he needs to consider what he’s putting out there. Editorialists write their opinions, and when someone who disagrees wants to deconstruct their opinion, they go after the source of the argument – in this case, the quality of the person making it.

  21. Rob West says

    I can remember (I think in the early “60’s) when the NY Times had an article on how Homosexuals were killing Broadway theater, in particular Gay actor’s who weren’t convincing in straight love scenes. Around the same time Edward Albee was criticized that “Virgina Wolf” was really a thinly disguised play about Gay men. Also a bit earlier the “Times” had an article refusing to accept the term “Gay” as the word was stolen by homosexuals.
    Well some things have changed, wait till they repeal DADT, homophobia will really come to the surface.

  22. Keith says

    Ramin continues to place himself into a corner he can’t escape. I’ve read the article, listened to his defense of the article, and he only seems to make it worse. He’s lost any journalistic credibility in the media, and Newsweek should be boycotted for publishing such a blatantly discriminatory article.

  23. david c says

    This guy is a homophobe pure and simple. He wrote something extremely stupid and homophobic and should take responsibility for his idiocy. Bullshit on the dialogue crap.

  24. Maxcor says

    The broadway, casting and film industry argument wasn’t satisfactorily explored in his article and that’s what I’d criticise. By the way Dan and Joy, I don’t understand the conclusion that people watch film to be a part of the fantasy as opposed as simply being immersed in the film. (which is how I personally enjoy film) I completely agree with Amanda Bearse’s mention about NPH and the producers. The crux is that it’s a complex issue that wasn’t scrutinised well in the article.

  25. B-rod says

    If they haven’t noticed, Newsweek has already been “boycotted” by a LOT of people, so much so that’s the Washington Post Company is putting it for a fire sale. It’s a worthless rag that is going down the tubes. Yawn.

  26. david c says

    I suppose if he was told Sean Hayes was straight he would buy him in the role. What a dumbass. This guy is as shortsighted as he is claiming the general audience is. He proves his own homophobic theory. What a maroon. And a gay maroon at that.

  27. TampaZeke says

    The fact that there or TONS of gay actors playing straight parts, on TV and the big screen, that HE doesn’t even know about and has no inkling about, proves that he is full of shit.

    Furthermore, the fact that MILLIONS of gay people, in their daily lives, convince everyone around them that they are straight EVERY SINGLE DAY, even convincing husbands/wives, shows that gay people are not only capable, but VERY good at, playing convincing straight roles.

  28. Vince S. says

    Well, more than one person on this thread thought Dan Savage was unbecoming on Bill Maher. He flirted with Kutcher and it was kind of cute. I don’t think he embarrassed himself at all. And he was articulate as ever on that show. But, I guess I’m in a minority here.

    And Ramin, as poorly articulated as his article was, was raising up an interesting point. But, apparently, a lot of people on this thread are convinced he’s homophobic. Me thinks y’all protest too much, meaning, get off your high horse. He wasn’t saying gays CAN’T play straight. He was making an observation that HE THOUGHT gays aren’t ACCEPTED by the movie-going public to play straight. And Savage correctly pointed out how he grossly deviated by even going into the theatre direction.

    Did y’all forget how to listen? Why can’t y’all follow a conversation word for word without projecting your own insecurities onto the matter? Geez.

    While we have true homophobic ingrate politicians criticizing those who act “too gay,” we have plenty of people on this thread who aren’t ashamed of acting too self-righteous in typical knee-jerk style.

  29. BART says

    What is utterly disingenuous about Mr. Setoodeh is that he is now saying his article was about how gay actors can’t play straight on film and that he was trying to “start a dialogue” when the girth of the article was attacking Sean Hayes’ performance in PROMISES, PROMISES.

    I read your article, Mr. Setoodeh, and you are either a terrible writer who is unable to make a clear point or you wanted to pan Sean Hayes’ performance and your hypothesis for not believing the performance is because you know he’s gay — so therefore he is unbelievable as a straight male.

    Just one question, Mr. Setoodeh. Have you ever seen EQUUS? Did you believe that the human playing the horse was a horse or does the same sort of hypothesis hold true. That on stage only a horse can play a horse?

    Look, I get the guys point but to attack a certain actor and say “See! See!” is the same as believing all Muslims are terrorists because the men who crashed planes into the World Trade Center buildings were Muslims. It’s patently false, and it’s so vast in scope that it is what causes stereotypes to exist.

    After reading his article and hearing him speak, I just don’t find him very smart or insightful. It’s a revelation that Hollywood always plays it safe?!? Really??? Wow, only a sheltered nine year old who has been living without access to a satellite dish wouldn’t know this. It’s neither a revelation nor was it the point of his article.

    If he’s the one gay FOX news can find to chastize gays he’s either a complete fraud or soulless. (And in your mea culpa, he whines that someone attacked his haircut??? Please, dude, man up.) Enough said, he’s a douche.

  30. Bosie says

    RAMIN is a TOTAL IDIOT! He can eat $hit!! Ramin being gay and attackign those who are working hard to teach the nation and to show young gays kids that they can be out and proud….RAMIN EAT MY non-straight a$$.

  31. bobbyjoe says

    Ramin Setoodah wants to pretend that this is the only article he’s ever written and that this is “starting a dialogue.”

    Don’t buy that line of bullsh*t. As others have mentioned, Setoodah has a long history of blaming gays for everything, in article after article.

    Was too much increasing tolerance for gays a “major factor” in Lawrence king’s murder? Setoodah would like us to think so. Are non-butch gays like Kurt Hummel on “Glee” simply ruining gays chances for civil rights? Setoodah wants us to think so. Are gays really bad at playing straight? Setoodah wants us to think so (that is, up until the time he’s called out on it by a celebrity, at which point he tries to pretend his article was about why oh why there aren’t more gay leading men playing straight, which is utter horsesh*t for anyone who’s read the original article).

    See a pattern here?

    Setoodah is a Fox News kind of guy (which is why he pops up on Bill O’Reilly). He’s deliberately and consistently pushing a far-Right anti-gay agenda, but now it pushed back.

    Don’t let Setoodah pretend that this current article is the only example of his calculated and cynical homophobia.

  32. veg says

    It was a complete failure on the part of Joy Behar, her producers and Dan Savage to not expose the previous anti-gay writings of Ramin Setoodah.

  33. Paul R says

    Can’t say I’m surprised that the “straight” actors they used as hypothetical gays included Tom Cruise, George Clooney, and Hugh Jackman.

    Yes, Dan was oddly polite and Ramin needs to learn how to write if he is truly not self-loathing/homophobic. Dan said he had it on good authority that Ramin isn’t, and I tend to trust Dan.

  34. TANK says

    I’m surprised anyone’s shocked that “uncle tom lives”. LOL! Ramin’s outlook (not just this article, apparently) is very common in the so-called lgbt “community”. Very, very common. The contrary is a minority opinion.

  35. GregV says

    Ramin went around in circles contradicting himself, and throwing out easily contradictable points.
    Some of us actually read the article, and we know that what he is claiming here is NOT what it said. The article suggested that gay actors are INCAPABLE of playing straight roles.
    And Neil Patrick Harris “was straight” when he got cast on How I met Your Mother? Of course he wasn’t! You just didn’t know he was gay.
    And claiming that straights play gay all the time but it is “very rare” for someone gay to play a straight role is very inaccurate, and, no, Dan, not just on Broadway.
    Setoodeh has no doubt been watching gay actors play straight all his life, probably starting with reruns on TV of Perry Mason and the Brady Bunch, Bewitched (Samantha’s entire family, including the uncle, mom, daughter and husband, were gay in real life), Family, Fame, Married With Children, Family Ties , Doogie Howser, Sex and the City, and on and on and on.
    Gay movie actors like Rock Hudson, Montgomery Clift and Sir Ian McKellan have some years won the highest awards given in Hollywood (for their portrayals of HETEROsexual characters).
    Ramin might counter, “…but I didn’t know Mr. Brady was gay at the time.” Fine, then take back all the statements about how gay men are incapable, and take a new approach in which you challenge YOUR problem with accepting a character while you shift in your seat wondering what the actor does in his oen sex life.

  36. MCnNYC says

    The article was OFFENSIVE.
    That a GAY MAN WROTE IT is More so.
    Then he tries to backpeddle clumsily…and DAN SAVAGE leads the apology charge.

    Any irony that Ramin is discussing the sexuality of everyone else except his own pole smoking self….???
    I had to end it after 5 minutes cause I thought it was becoming a gossip fest so if in the end there was a big “reveal” please let me know someone.

  37. sam says

    as for Neil Patrick Harris, i cannot watch him as a straight man…gag…..i think he is a joke. once you know someone is gay you get these “mental” pictures….and no amount of acting can overcome them! no matter how much being gay is projected to be “normal” it is so NOT!

  38. Chris says

    @STREPSI…..@CHRIS — Don’t be so disgustingly racist, he is an American born and raised.

    Sweetie before you call me that if you noticed I said But SERIOUSLY.

    Reading is so fundamental!

    So move the fuck on and there is really nothing racist about it. I believe he is of either Indian, or Muslim heritage regardless of being American.

    We all have backgrounds.

  39. Jack says

    Bah, you’re all making a mountain of a molehill. After watching and reading Ramin’s explanation, I think his underlying concern, or shall we say “dialogue-starter” had a lot of truth in it. He just did not convey it the right way. I’m a journalist (editor now) and – at the risk of tooting my own horn – I’ve won a couple of writing awards from the SPJ and other groups in my time. I’d be glad to lede (geddit?) Ramin on the write (there it is again) path *winkwink* (Psst, he’s cute!)

  40. bobbyjoe says


    If you’re such a good journalist (and editor), are you also a good reader?

    ’cause Setoodah has a long history of slandering gays in print, but I notice you’re trying to pretend (like Setoodah) that it’s just one article and he’s just “starting a dialogue.”

    Or are you like most journalists today, too lazy to do any digging into anything more than what took place two or three seconds ago and what you “watched and read” in the latest instance only?

  41. Warren says

    No wonder Newsweek is up for sale. Mr. Setoodeh’s piece reads like a high school essay for the student newspaper. Mediocre, mainstream garbage.

  42. bobo says

    I’ve read and reread Ramin Setoodeh original Newsweek article Straight Jacket and his follow up article Out of Focus. I’ve watched him discuss the Gay Actor’s dilemma on Larry King Live on CNN and The Joy Behar Show on HLN. I think Ramin Setoodeh is having a George Rekers self hating moment when he writes in his Straight Jacket article the following “But frankly, it’s weird seeing Hayes play straight. He comes off as wooden and insincere, like he’s trying to hide something, which of course he is.” Ramin said on Joy Behar’s show that he just wanted to open a dialogue on Gay Actors playing Straight roles and ended with saying he really wanted more Gay Actors to come out. I don’t understand why they should want to come out since he slams all the Gay Actor’s in his article as not able to play straight once they come out.
    Shouldn’t we expect a little more support from our own Gay Community first like Mr. Setoodeh and Mr. Rekers?

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