Mutchnick: Gay Actors Must Be Good

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 07 2011 3:35 PM ET

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly,Will & Grace cocreator Max Mutchnick responds to Richard Chamberlain’s suggestion that gay actors who want to play the leading man should stay in the closet, saying he has never denied a role to an actor because he’s gay — but they have to be convincing.

“I don’t think the audience is as homophobic as the media would have us believe,” he writes. "Neither is Hollywood. I’ve never denied an actor a job because he was gay. But I have denied actors jobs because they suck.”

Mutchnick points to Nathan Lane’s critically acclaimed work as Gomez Addams in Broadway's The Addams Family and T.R. Knight on Grey’s Anatomy as examples of gay actors convincingly playing straights.

He says, “There is no blacklist that forbids gay actors from playing straight roles. Convince us you’re in love with her and we’ll hire you. And I promise we won’t care who you’re cuddling up with when you’re off camera.

The January 14 issue of Entertainment Weekly is on newsstands now.