The creator of gay-friendly comedy Glee has urged a boycott of Newsweek magazine over a “bigoted” column.
Ryan Murphy said that an article questioning whether gay actors could play straight characters was “needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted”.
Writer Ramin Setoodeh, who is gay, had suggested that gay Will & Grace actor Sean Hayes was “insincere” and “unintentionally camp” when playing a straight character.
He wrote: “If an actor of the stature of George Clooney came out of the closet tomorrow, would we still accept him as a heterosexual leading man?
Mr Setoodeh had also criticised Glee actor Jonathan Groff, the openly gay Broadway star who plays a straight character in the show.
He wrote: “As the shifty glee captain from another school who steals Rachel’s heart, there’s something about his performance that feels off. In half his scenes, he scowls- is that a substitute for being straight? When he smiles or giggles, he seems more like your average theater queen, a better romantic match for Kurt than Rachel.”
Murphy added: “This article is as misguided as it is shocking and hurtful. It shocks me because Mr. Setoodeh is himself gay.”
Kristin Chenoweth, Hayes’ co-star in the play Promises, Promises, attacked Mr Setoodeh’s article, calling it “horrendously homophobic”.
Meanwhile, actor Cheyenne Jackson said: “It was very veiled self-loathing. Really upsetting. Every time we go forward, some asshole like this takes us back a bit.”
Mr Setoodeh defended his column, saying he had simply been trying to start a debate.
In another article, he said: “My article became a straw man for homophobia and hurt in the world. . . But I was hoping to start a dialogue that would be thoughtful- not to become a target for people who twisted my words.
“I’m not a conservative writer with an anti-gay agenda. I don’t hate gay people or myself.”