Piers Morgan can’t grasp why Russell T Davies would want queer men to play queer roles in a drama about the AIDS crisis
The seemingly never-ending debate around straight actors playing gay characters was awakened on Monday (11 January) when Davies told Radio Times that he wanted queer actors for his new series because they would bring “authenticity” to their roles.
He said: “You wouldn’t cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair, you wouldn’t Black someone up. Authenticity is leading us to joyous places.”
Piers Morgan, who apparently exists in a constant state of outrage, decided to wade into the discussion on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday (12 January).
“Equality means equality or it doesn’t… I just don’t get it,” Morgan told GMB co-host Susannah Reid.
Piers Morgan also wants non-disabled people to play disabled characters
“Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, one of the all-time great acting roles, would he have played it more powerfully if he’d been a gay actor? I don’t think so.
“Did it shine a light on AIDS which was hugely beneficial to AIDS about that debate? Yes, because it was Tom Hanks.”
Screenwriter Russell T Davies said gay characters should only be played by gay actors. @Piersmorgan asks whether gay people think all gay roles should only be played by gay actors.
Let us know what you think? pic.twitter.com/R8PXf22K5q
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 12, 2021
Piers Morgan continued: “Do gay people think this? On balance that all gay roles should only be played by all gay people?”
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Reid brought up an earlier discussion about disabled actors playing disabled characters, and Morgan said: “I don’t think the answer’s that all disability roles and movies should only be played by people who have that disability.
“I don’t think that should be a prerequisite. They are acting. Everybody’s performing in some way and pretending to be someone.”
In his Radio Times interview, Davies explained: “I’m not being woke about this… but I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, I am casting them to act as a lover, or an enemy, or someone on drugs or a criminal or a saint… they are not there to ‘act gay’ because ‘acting gay’ is a bunch of codes for a performance.”
Davies, who is gay himself, has a long history of casting LGBT+ actors in queer roles, such as Ben Whishaw in A Very English Scandal and Russell Tovey in Years and Years. However, he has also cast straight actors in queer roles in the past.