Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina, who play villains Roman Sionis (aka Black Mask) and Victor Zsasz in the new movie Birds of Prey, got slammed for “queer baiting” after telling Variety‘s Marc Malkin that their characters are “more than likely” gay. According to those who have seen the film, there’s nothing explicitly gay between the two characters.
Said McGregor: “It’s very complicated. Their relationship is very much based…there’s a want and a need in there for sure. … More than likely, yes.”
Added Messina: “There’s like a real love of anarchy.”
Variety notes: “While Sionis and Zsasz’s relationship remains somewhat ambiguous, Perez’s character, police officer Renee Montoya, is definitely gay in “Birds of Prey.” Ali Wong (“Always Be My Maybe”) plays her ex-girlfriend.”
Twitter wasn’t thrilled with McGregor and Messina’s queer baiting.
Can straight male actors please stop queerbaiting to try to trick gay audiences to see their films. If a character is gay it needs to be obvious to the audience. Tired of the queerbaiting. Please stop it.— OrvilleLloydDouglas🇨🇦🏳️🌈 (@OrvilleLloyd) January 25, 2020
Hindsight homosexuality is not representation.— David (@Dreams_on_Paper) January 25, 2020
Oooh, gay villains… pic.twitter.com/WthO7vUMUw— Eric Priuska 🏳️🌈 (@EricPriuska) January 25, 2020
I loathe Queerbaiting. Just stop.— Jake 🏳️🌈 (@jakevkern) January 25, 2020
"Messina added, “There’s like a real love of anarchy.”"— Jeff Sorensen (@SorenJeff) January 25, 2020
Yeah, never knew a mutual love of anarchy means they're boning.
Tell us more about two actors who had nothing to do with the writing or creation of the characters take on said characters.
They could've easily casted Gay Actors to avoid this mess. There are plenty of Openly Gay Actors who would love to play a Gay Character in a Comic Book Movie.— Almando™ (@AJHJR) January 25, 2020
1. Zachary Quinto
2. Neil Patrick Harris
3. Matt Bomer
4. Cheyenne Jackson
5. Colton Haynes
6. Wentworth Miller
Straight people get to be EXPLICITLY straight in every movie.— CeeJay. (@ceejayperiod) January 25, 2020
Unless a film can do the same for its queer characters, the "representation" doesn't count.