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Star of Lifetime’s first gay Christmas film wants more stories about trans, non-binary and queer people of colour

Patrick Kelleher December 8, 2020
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Ben Lewis and Blake Lee kiss in The Christmas Setup on Lifetime

The stars of Lifetime's The Christmas Setup hope the network introduces trans, non-binary and LGBT+ characters of colour in future festive films. (The Christmas Setup/YouTube)

The star of Lifetime’s first gay Christmas film hopes next year’s festive line-up includes trans, non-binary and LGBT+ characters of colour.

Real-life married couple Ben Lewis and Blake Lee are set to star in Lifetime’s first ever gay Christmas film, The Christmas Setup, which is scheduled to air on 12 December.

The film follows New York lawyer Hugo (Lewis) as he returns to his hometown of Milwaukee for the Christmas season with his best friend, Madelyn (Ellen Wong). His mother Kate (Fran Drescher) decides to set him up with his high school crush Patrick (Lee), but he is forced to choose between his career and love when he is offered a promotion in London.

Speaking about the film, Lee told Good Morning America: “We’re one of a couple LGBTQ holiday films this year, which is incredible. To have a year where there’s more than one, it’s wild.”

He added: “I hope that Lifetime – and I think that they will because they’ve been so great about telling this story – I hope that they do tell a story that centres around a trans person or a non-binary person or queer people of colour.

“I think that they will and I am excited for those stories.”

The couple praised Lifetime for casting gay actors in Christmas film’s gay roles

Speaking about The Christmas Setup, Lewis said: “This is just a really powerful example that gay people aren’t just family-friendly, they are your family. They’re in every family, and to see the gay community represented in this type of movie is really significant.”

The couple also heaped praise on Lifetime for hiring gay actors to play gay roles. The film was also written and directed by gay men.

LGBTQ+ people are part of society… and deserve all the respect and recognition that their straight counterparts have enjoyed for a long time.

“I think we’re both very happy and grateful that that’s sort of the way that things seem to be culturally shifting,” Lewis said.

“The LGBTQ+ audience wants to see themselves represented in an authentic way and, if they don’t, they’re very vocal about it.”

He added: “We’re really excited for families to watch this movie – especially families that have LGBTQ children or members of the family, but also just for everybody.

“LGBTQ+ people are part of society… and deserve all the respect and recognition that their straight counterparts have enjoyed for a long time.”

Related topics: Ben Lewis, Blake Lee, lifetime

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