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EastEnders actor Marc Elliot ‘abused in the street’ for gay character

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  1. Proof (if needed) that homophobia does not only affect gay people

  2. I agree with zefrog; is it just me? but do people need to wake up to reality, he is only ACTING! he is not really gay; and if he was what business is it of theirs?

    It’s not effecting their life unless THEY want to make an issue out of it; then it is their fault for making an issue and not his or anyone elses.

  3. Two points

    1. Marc Elliot is a handsome, successful and very able actor. His portrayal of Syed has actually made me watch Eastenders to follow this story line.

    2. The cat callers are sad ignorant losers every one of them. They need someone to blame for their own inadequacies.

  4. Rachel (2)… in general you’re right: actors tend to get abused for the characters they’re playing. Actors who play the part of disagreeable people get all sorts of abuse for it. That’s well documented.

    But I think you’re missing a point here: some of the abuse that he’s receiving may be because his role is promoting homosexuality as acceptable… “defending the indefensible and passing off homosexuality as normal”, bigoted religionists might say. That could be the reason for some of the abuse.

    Anyway, it is interesting, it is wrong; but against that I’m sure he’s getting paid a lot of money to put up with it.

  5. I was reading the feedback on the BBC website following the outing episode, and I was shocked at some of the bile being thrown at Syed and Christian as characters. Everything from suggesting if they just “behaved” and went straight none of this would’ve happened to suggesting storylines where they get lynched in creative ways.
    Admittedly I have started watching Eastenders on and off to follow the storyline, and the script team are walking a fine line to present both sides of the culture war, but I do wonder if in doing that there’s a danger of being seen to sanction zealous homophobia, as if being beaten to a bloody pulp for being gay is OK as long as it was for religious reasons? The scene where Christian got lynched in his own home for example seemed to have zero fallout for his homophobic attackers. Wouldn’t most people at least call the police? Or maybe I missed that episode?

  6. This guy is only playing a gay character and gets it in the neck? So how is the really Gay John Partridge dealing with the homphobic flak? BTW I doubt I would play a Gay Muslim; too many reasons for a fatwah!

  7. Welcome to our word Mr. Elliot. If you get that much abuse from simply playing gay can you imagine what it’s like to BE gay 24/7 one’s entire life?

    When I hear actors who play gay complain about the abuse they take it usually seems like they are completely missing the most important point. It seems that they are exclusively focused on their unfair victimization but not at all focused on the larger picture that led to their victimization. They also seem unaware of how this rabid, still publicly accepted homophobia, religiously motivated and otherwise, is reflected in the real world in the real lives of real gay people EVERY SINGLE DAY of their lives.

    I wish they would be more aware and more articulate in expressing this important message.

    I agree with the comment above that Eastenders is getting awfully close to excusing, justifying or at the very least dismissing the importance of calling out and denouncing religiously motivated homophobia.

  8. But he added that he valued the opportunity to play the character.

    “It’s an incredibly important part. In so many cultures being gay is still something swept under the carpet,” he said.

    In fairness, Zeke, Marc Elliott hasn’t complained about it – anything but.

  9. Paul Thompson 20 May 2010, 8:47am

    Well done Marc for playing this difficult role. It is inspirational that the BBC included this storyline which exposes peoples’ homophobia yet educates (especially younger adults).

    Who knows how many young gay Muslims this will inspire. They are aware of the negatives, but what about the positives. I hope the story line concluded with an optimistic outcome.

    Thanks Marc for supporting us.

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