Posted in entertainment
May 11, 2010

The Newsweek article on Gay Actors, revisited

After the internet rose up against Ramin Setoodah (whose name is now one that I remember how to spell), he posted a follow-up to the original article.

In short, he was misconstrued. His point was that thus far, there hasn’t been a major leading man who was openly gay and wondering if it was possible.

Rereading it, I can see that he laid the foundation for the argument. But instead, he focused too much on criticizing two openly gay men that are in prominent straight roles. He neglected to mention that Sean Hayes received favorable reviews from critics and that he’s been nominated for awards for his role in Promises, Promises. He neglected to mention that Jonathan Groff played Lea Michele’s love interest in Broadway’s “Spring Awakening,” and burned up the stage. By only including his opinion of their performances, he wasn’t exploring the public’s perception- it became the story of a gay man, who is so critical of gay men on stage and screen that he was rejecting all their performances.

It’s disappointing that he failed to notice that he missed his point- I often worry that my soapbox posts will be similarly misconstrued. But I am my only editor, and Setoodah has an actual editor. One who presumably looked at this with a critical eye and still deemed this clear enough to print in Newsweek.

He can say he was misconstrued all he likes, that he he meant something. Had he written it clearly, a few people might have misunderstood, not the majority of the people who read it. I looked at the comments. Commenter after commenter came to the same conclusion that I did, that Kristin Chenoweth did… and very few attempted to defend what Setoodah meant to say (at least, correctly – there were more than a few who argued that no, we can’t see beyond someone’s sexuality to enjoy them in a role. I didn’t see any who said that Setoodah merely wondered if we were able to).

At least this further proves why Newsweek is in the trouble they’re in. Not that they don’t aren’t tackling interesting subjects, but that they clearly lack the editorial staff to do so coherently.

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