Mathew Horne, one of the stars of Gavin and Stacey, has dismissed accusations his sketch show was homophobic, saying it was criticised because he and co-star James Corden were “over-exposed”.
Horne, who played Boy George’s ex-boyfriend in a recent biopic of the singer’s life, said gay characters in the sketch show were “stereotypes for a reason”.
He told GT: “I don’t care what they said, because largely it was nothing to do with the show, it was just to do with me and James being around too much and people starting to hate us, which I get, it’s a bit of over-exposure and what have you.”
One character in Horne & Corden, gay war reporter Tim, was singled out for particular criticism for his camp manner.
Horne added: “But to accuse that character [gay war reporter Tim] of being homophobic, that really got me, because it was annoying that that was the beginning of the backlash.
“And it was completely unfounded and untrue. He was such a warm and likable character, I mean, there are gay stereotypes everywhere, they’re stereotypes for a reason.”
Tim Teeman, the gay arts editor of The Times, accused the pair of explicit homophobia for the sketch. He wrote: “Imagine the justifiable outrage if blacks or Asians or women were treated so insultingly on TV now.
“But homophobia, gay stereotypes, anti-gay humour and backchat — unlike racism and sexism — has become acceptable. It isn’t.”
During the interview, Horne also criticised stars who stay in the closet to protect their careers.
He said: “What I don’t like is people who are gay and pretend they’re not and they’re in the public eye. I think that’s really unhelpful, and I’ve known a couple of people and that’s been a bit of a bugbear for me, and I don’t think that’s very cool.
“There’s a couple… who both appeal to a young audience. Two people I can think of, one in music, one in acting… it’s not my place to out them.”
The actor appeared as Culture Club’s drummer Jon Moss in the BBC biopic, which documented Boy George’s early life up to his 1980s heyday.
Titled Worried About The Boy, it was broadcast on Sunday night.
Despite being a consultant during production, George later took to Twitter to attack the programme.
He wrote: “Verdict, beautifully shot and styled but badly written, it lacks heart and soul! The make-up is the best thing about it.
“It’s what happens when straight blokes write about poofs, one dimensional but great drag!”