News | Ramin Setoodeh | Sean Hayes | Theatre

Watch: Sean Hayes Responds to Newsweek Article That Said He's Too Gay to Convincingly Play Straight

Hayes

The ladies of The View ask Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth about Ramin Setoodeh's homophobic Newsweek article asserting that gay actors can't convincingly play heterosexuals, which used Hayes' performance in Promises, Promises as its centerpiece. 

Says Hayes: "It's a five hour conversation of how asinine that statement is. It's the same kind of argument when people said Oprah was too white."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. In general? Of course Gays can play straight. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. From Rock Hudson to Neil Patrick Harris.

    Hayes? No. He's got GayFace and a Gay Accent. If you're gonna "act" a straight role you gotta lose both. Many roles require actors to change appearance and speech. Think Meryl Streep in Out of Africa or Sophie's Choice. If you can't do that you're not believable. Straight guys simply do not contort their faces and speech patterns the way (most of) The Gays do.

    Most Gay guys don't even know they have GayFace and Gay Accents. It's like when they were kids and everybody but them knew they were Gay. How do you think everyone knew they were Gay?!

    Elongated vowels and over emphasized consonants are the hallmarks of the Gay Accent. For example, say the word "eight". Does the "t" at the end of the world almost swallowed, silent? Or is it over emphasized as in: "eighteh"?

    Posted by: MarkDC | Jun 3, 2010 9:58:54 PM


  2. Of course Gay actors can and do play straight. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. From Rock Hudson to Neil Patrick Harris to Tom "Cruise".

    Some Gay actors, like Hayes, are not believble. Why? He's got GayFace and a Gay Accent. If you're gonna act a straight role you need to lose both.

    Actors have to change appearance and speech all the time. Think Meryl Streep in Out of African and Sophie's Choice. If a particular actor can't do that he should not get the job. However, dismissing an entire category of actors as incapable is just plain bigoted.

    GayFace? Manic fright mask: wide eyes, contorted forehead muscles, smile from ear-to-ear, over expressive like a mime performing for someone 100 feet away. Dial it down.

    Gay Accent? Elongaged vowels and over emphasized consonants. Example: the word "eight". Is the "t" swallowed and almost silent OR is it over pronounced as an extra syllable: "eighTeh". Another example: "bored" can be pronounced "bort" or "boreduh".

    Posted by: MarkDC | Jun 3, 2010 10:10:08 PM


  3. I have trouble getting behind someone who hid in the closet and denied being gay for years, but now wants to be Mr. Gay Activist.

    I call BS on Ricky Martin too.

    IMO they are just hyping this critic's comment into a huge scandal for PR--and to detract from Sean's own failure to represent a long time ago.

    When you played a gay character you pretended you were really straight, but now that you are playing a straight character you are mad because they won't pretend you aren't really gay--ten minutes after you finally came out?

    Bitch, please.

    Posted by: Mark | Jun 3, 2010 10:15:56 PM


  4. Dial your internalized homophobic ass, dear.

    We're talking MUSICAL COMEDY -- the gayest of all art forms. Gays are all over it -- onstage and off.

    And so what?

    We live in the world.

    Actually we live in the world MORE than straigths do beccause we have to think about it -- and how to make our way through it -- all the time.

    "West Side Story" was written and directed by gay men, and gay man was tis star. Wash it gay?

    Not that I, or anyone else, can see.

    But that's not "proof" of anything, really. It's just a fact of theater. Now that more of us are out and proud (at least I sure as hell hope so) those facts will change.

    Are we ready for it?

    Or in the immortal words of Stephen Sondheim "I'm the one that you fucked!"

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 3, 2010 10:21:16 PM


  5. @ David Ehrenstein

    No. We're NOT talking musical comedy. The question, and the subject, is: Can Gay actors play straight? The answer is some can, some cannot.

    Dismissing legitimate criticism of The Gays with accusations of "internalized homophobia" is embarrassing. And pretty damn Gay. I guess we mustn't disrupt fragile, precious Official Gay Culture with some realness.

    I'm not going to pretend All Gays are perfect All The Time. The soft bigotry of low expectations might be good enough for you, not me.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Jun 3, 2010 10:37:38 PM


  6. Shut up, DE. As usual, you think all gay actors should come out of the closet, because homophobia doesn't impact career options in that field...in your make believe world of self delusion.

    Posted by: TANK | Jun 3, 2010 10:42:23 PM


  7. If straight actors can 'convincingly' play gay...gay actors can play straight, same thing, different plumbing.
    I do think Hayes showed real class when he said the writer was young & inexperienced, that was cool.

    Posted by: huh? | Jun 3, 2010 10:54:21 PM


  8. First you say musical comedy is "the gayest of all art forms", then you say West Side Story was not Gay. Well, which is it?


    "West Side Story" was written and directed by gay men, and gay man was [it's] star. [Was] it gay? Not that I, or anyone else, can see." -- David Ehrenstein

    Dude.

    West Side Story is the Gaytardest fuckin thing on earth. That you don't see that is remarkable...and Gaytarded.


    Oh, and "a fact of theater"? Fuckin hilarious.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Jun 3, 2010 10:55:39 PM


  9. Mr. Hayes has pigeonholed himself to the point that he can't play a credible gay character either. His homosexual portrayals relied heavily on the stereotypes that straight America expects. His cartoonish antics are caricatures that do a disservice to the reality that gay people have personalities and mannerisms that span a spectrum that is every bit as diverse as the general population.

    The success of "Will & Grace" may have limited his ability as an actor (to play anything other than the roles he's primarily known for), but I imagine he was well compensated & we shouldn't feel too sorry for him.

    Chalk it up as one of those deals made with the devil.

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Jun 3, 2010 10:59:08 PM


  10. Of course a gay actor can PLAY a hetero, thats the story of most of hollywood. The question is, can you be a Tom Cruise, Will Smith or Brad Pitt once you are out? I think the answer which no one wants to admit is no. The country still has a stigma of what it means to be a leading man and gay man. Staying in the closet might mean a higher profile and more opportunities but its not going to change minds and hearts about what roles gay men are capable of.

    Posted by: Toto | Jun 3, 2010 11:12:37 PM


  11. MarkDC is really starved for attention.

    Posted by: scar2 | Jun 3, 2010 11:22:39 PM


  12. "Dismissing legitimate criticism of The Gays with accusations of "internalized homophobia" is embarrassing. And pretty damn Gay."

    Thanks for proving my point.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 3, 2010 11:37:12 PM


  13. "The question is, can you be a Tom Cruise, Will Smith or Brad Pitt once you are out? I think the answer which no one wants to admit is no."

    Toto is still in Kansas.

    "Shut up, DE. As usual, you think all gay actors should come out of the closet, because homophobia doesn't impact career options in that field...in your make believe world of self delusion."

    And "Tank" as usual wants everyone to be in the closet with him.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 3, 2010 11:39:24 PM


  14. "West Side Story is the Gaytardest fuckin thing on earth. That you don't see that is remarkable...and Gaytarded."

    Words of "Wisdom" from the closet.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 3, 2010 11:41:44 PM


  15. Which Republican Senator do you give head to "Mark in DC"?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 3, 2010 11:42:40 PM


  16. Why do these threads always evolve into conversations about posters who are infinitely less interesting than the original subject of the thread?

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Jun 4, 2010 12:15:19 AM


  17. Please David Ehrenstein, enlighten me on a male celebrity who has been able to command decent box office numbers in action and drama roles WHILE being openly gay? I would be THRILLED if it were the case but its not. I just hope more gay male actors dont compromise their sexuality for safe fame because how else will there be a change?

    Posted by: Toto | Jun 4, 2010 12:28:33 AM


  18. “Words of "Wisdom" from the closet.”

    Guess again.

    Dismissing "out" critics of Official Gay Culture with “the closet” won’t work, though it may make you feel better about yourself. Similarly, attacking those who disagree with you as cocksucking whores betrays typical faggotry and voids your argument.

    I noticed your last four comments did not contain a single response but, instead, putdowns and insults. The trademark hostility of pure arch faggotry.

    Like I said: Gaytarded.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Jun 4, 2010 12:28:46 AM


  19. Hayes discussion of Setoodeh's article was anemic. He could have been stronger and come prepared with talking points KNOWING it was going to come up.

    So many Gay guys are still terrified 8 year olds on the playground. Grow a pair.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Jun 4, 2010 12:35:21 AM


  20. DE is all snark and no substance. If you've had the displeasure of reading his "blog" (fourth rate michael musto...which is a big insult because michael musto is already the fourth estate's fourth rate. ZING!), you'll come to the understanding that he's a celebrity obsessed gay teen who's pushing eighty, cutting out images of celebrities from gossip rags to paste on his dolls. And when he attempts to flirt with depth, it's cut and paste jobs from other sources with his ooohs and aaaaahs punctuating the breaks in borrowed text. And anyone who disagrees with him is a closeted kapo.

    Posted by: TANK | Jun 4, 2010 12:50:57 AM


  21. Why is everyone also trying to decide what everyone is suppose to do and be. People here must have boring lives.

    Posted by: KB | Jun 4, 2010 1:55:11 AM


  22. Even the best actor isn't well suited for EVERY part. Yes, in general, Gay men can 'act' straight. We do it all the time, on and off stage. But the act isn't always convincing. Especially to other Gay men. Sean is one of those guys who just isn't capable of 'Butching it up' enough to fit the heterosexual stereotype. But then, not all straight men fit the stereotype either!!

    I like Sean. He's a talented guy. But IMHO, he's not a great actor. That doesn't mean he shouldn't try. I just don't think he's ever going to be as successful with drama as he is with comedy.

    Posted by: Jay Croce | Jun 4, 2010 2:11:20 AM


  23. I have no problem supporting Sean as a gay activist. Coming out is HIS BUSINESS. So many of you have a problem understanding that, and it's crazy. He never once took anti-gay positions, and he courageously played a roll that many people grew to love despite the character's sexuality. He was a struggling actor when he took the role, and actors do as they are told. Stereotype? Come on! Many gays run around like Jack.

    LOVE ME SOME SEAN!

    Posted by: dattexas | Jun 4, 2010 3:52:20 AM


  24. This is SAD...over on Joe.My.God people are bitching about Clay Aiken, here it is Sean Hayes. We are such a derisive group of people. An entertainer wants a solid career going before being torn down by the right-wing bigots. These entertainers are doing no harm to anyone, but for some reason once they do come out, they are torn to pieces by their own, and of course the right-wing also throws them to the dogs. It's not like these guys are politicians and go out of their way to "F" us over, then get caught being a hypocrit.

    Posted by: CB | Jun 4, 2010 4:15:23 AM


  25. Sean Hayes never hurt gays with hateful public rhetoric when he was "in the closet."

    So let's stop thinking that he should've gone on Oprah or the cover of People Magazine to declare "I'm gay."

    I bet he was fairly open to his friends and co-workers. That's not being in the closet.

    Only rabid self-hating homophobes who sleep around with the same sex while undermining gays (in Roy Cohn style) deserve to be outed.

    Let's mind our own business for crying out loud.

    Posted by: veg | Jun 4, 2010 4:57:00 AM


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