1. MarkDC says

    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”?

  2. MarkDC says

    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”.

  3. Mark says

    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.

  4. says

    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!”

  5. MarkDC says

    @ 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.

  6. TANK says

    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.

  7. huh? says

    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.

  8. MarkDC says

    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


    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.

  9. says

    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.

  10. Toto says

    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.

  11. says

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

    Thanks for proving my point.

  12. says

    “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.

  13. says

    “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.

  14. says

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

  15. Toto says

    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?

  16. MarkDC says

    “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.

  17. MarkDC says

    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.

  18. TANK says

    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.

  19. KB says

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

  20. Jay Croce says

    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.

  21. dattexas says

    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.


  22. says

    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.

  23. veg says

    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.

  24. nic says

    “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” ahahaha! from ‘the shrubs’ speech writer’s lips to yours. monkey hears, monkey repeats.

  25. Esurb says

    Of course they can do–and have done–it. It is easier and more successfully assured if they stay in the closet.

  26. says

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

    That’s what’s known as the “Glass Closet.” With hayes it was abit different as he was out circa “Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss” but when “Will & Grace” came along he was suddenly all “privacy.” In many ways what he was fearing back then was the likes of Ramin Setoodeh. I though Hayes was something of a jerk back then, but even jerks don’t deserve Setoodeh.

    “Let’s mind our own business for crying out loud.”

    Let’s not.

  27. tooboot says

    The whole subject of the masculinity and virility of male actors’ performances is influenced by the polarizing tendency in this country of what male architypes are supposed to be. We have historically promoted a hyper masculinity in our heroes through westerns and action films, cops and superheroes, and on the other end of the spectrum we have fay characters or lispy, tragic queens, but I assert that there is a middle ground with a wide variety of masculine varieties. As a matter of fact, Jack Lemmon, who originally played Hayes’part in the movie The Apartment, was not known for being macho but more as a physical comedian. In fact he played a woman in Some Like it Hot so why is Mr. Hayes performance called into question? Maybe it is a matter of taste or more likely a projection of one’s own homophobia.
    There is no such thing as a gay accent. One could argue that there is a phenomenon called “affected speech” with sibilant esses but accents are indicative of a region or ethnicity or language but not sexual orientation.

  28. says

    ” It is easier and more successfully assured if they stay in the closet.”

    WHAT is “easier and more successfully assured”? Work? Life? You people equate the closet with success. Possibly in the past to some degree (sure didn’t do Tom Drake much good — and there’s a whole list of others) but what kind of life does it offer?You end up a terminally bitter old queen like Roddy McDowell (quite a frightening case at the end.)

    Today more and more people are out with thriving carriers.

    Which is why you hate them.

    For the Closet Taburnacle Choir in here their careers are nothing because they don’t have the Big Budget Action roles. Well the insanely beloved Jake just did a Big Budget Action role –“Prince of Purses” I think it was called — and it TABKED at the Box Office. Why? Maybe he’s not as big a “name” as everyone thought. Maybe “names” don’t matter as much as they used to. (That I suspect is the case.) These days the only surefire box office product is feature length cartoons.

    I’ll be curious to see how Herr Mapother does with his latest retead of the same damn piece of shit action movie he’s been doing for over a decade “Knight and Day.” Isn’t that a Too Cute title? (Barf-O-Rama) and it “reunites” him wiht his “Vanilla Sky” co-star Cameron Diaz.

    Aren’t y’all just so excited you could shit?

  29. walter says

    none of us know what’s it is like to try and start a career in hollywood. must of these people are told by their agents it would be fatal to be you stay in the closet.some are more open and some have the nerve to come out, but either way as long as they are not yelling anti gay rhetoric that is their business. everyone has to pick their own time and way to come out. the only thing about hayes’s coming out where the words he used. made him sound bitchy. i have friends who have seen him in the role and said he is very good.

  30. John D.B. says

    Always, we seem to have missed the point really posted here. The awkward and rude reviewer is bashing an acting performance based on sexual preference and not on sexual portrayal. Did the actor convincingly portray a character attracted to his love interest? Did he not? And, heck, gay or straight, some of us aren’t so hot at being captivatingly authentic PERFORMING as love interests no matter our sexuality. The shot about sexuality just proves the writer is hitting himself below the belt. I hope it hurts.

  31. MarkDC says

    @ NIC

    That you think the phrase “the soft bigotry of low expectations” comes from a third-rate sitcom is not just emabarrassing, it’s sad.

    You faggots might try reading a book instead of sitting around on your complacent, self-entitled Gay asses eating bon bons, listening to your iPods and shopping online for Prada sneakers.

    Transference? Likely. Sorry daddy hated you but try to move on.

  32. MarkDC says

    These GAY actors can play straight:

    1) Zac Efron
    2) Neil Patrick Harris
    3) David Hyde Pierce
    4) John Mahoney
    5) Judy Dench
    6) Jane Lynch
    7) Kelly McGillis
    8) Portia de Rossi

    Those who cannot are either untalented or self-loathing.

    Why self-loathing? Ask yourselves how comforting it is to stay in the stereotypical Gay Box heterosexuals have constructed for you. Straight people like their “niggers” street and their faggots gushing and prancing.

    It takes a lot of balls to DEFINE YOURSELF against what heterosexuals have decided suits and comforts them.

  33. Walter says

    Sean Hayes hurt gay community by hiding in the closet during a time when he was staring in a hit show and had great impact.

    He lost endless opportunities to educate the public and instead chose to only play a stereotypical character for his own career and financial benefit.

    I would still like to spit in his face.

    He has no future career outside the gay circle that wants to forgive the clown for that by attending his Broadway performances.

    I would never support this selfish a-hat

  34. Mark Hutchinson says

    Ah, where to start..not all gays are challenged to play straight convincingly – enough examples have been given. However, in Sean Hayes I see GAY GAY GAY – it’s in his mannerisms, his voice, his swagger etc. I don’t believe that this actor is able to convincingly play straight. As a side note : you are all aware that the author of the article is a gay man.

  35. Bob says

    The thing about theatre anyway is that you suspend disbelief. Do people in real life break into song? No! But you “buy it” by beliving it is really happening. When you see PROMISES, PROMISES the chemistry that you see Kristin and Sean have off stage is translated on stage. Your mind doesn’t go to the place where you picture them “doing it.” You are entertained by two people who are very talented and are telling an entertaining story! You accept it and go for the ride!

  36. nic says

    listen, idiot. you lifted the phrase, “the soft bigotry of low expectations” from ‘dubya’ bush, our dim-witted ex-prez. you are at least partially right in that the bush/cheney tenure was a third-rate sitcom. but, it went terribly wrong and became a tragedy of seismic proportions.

    but, seriously, you aren’t firing on all pistons, are ya blanche?

  37. MarkDC says

    @ Nic

    Wrong, Gaytard. That phrase has been around for years. I used it writing college papers in the early 90s.

    Clearly you’re to young and stupid to know anything before Bush.

    But don’t let reality or humility get in the way of your Gaytarded pretension.

  38. Julius says

    @markdc, Actually YOU are the “gaytard” and embarassingly talking out your ignorant ass, as you never saw or even KNEW Sean Hayes played Jerry Lewis in a TV movie a couple years ago. Shitty movie about an even shittier human being(not unlike yourself) but nevertheless, JL is straight and SH’s performance as the straight, homophobic, child abusing, truly nasty comedian was credible and not at all endearing.