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Billy Eichner Blasts Aaron Sorkin's 'Ignorant' Gay Actor Comments

Billy Eichner and Aaron Sorkin

"Talking about shit he doesn't fully comprehend."

The discourse continues.

Over the past few years, Hollywood has been involved in reinvigorated conversations around what actors should have the opportunity to play which roles. While some believe that any actor should be allowed to play almost any role, others have advocated that roles particularly representing marginalized communities, be given to actors from those communities. Now, Aaron Sorkin has given his thoughts on the issue.

In a recent interview, Sorkin was asked about his casting of Javier Bardem, who is Spanish, as Desi, a Cuban character, in Being the Ricardos.

"Spanish and Cuban are not actable," he told the Sunday Times Culture Magazine. "If I was directing you in a scene and said: 'It's cold, you can't feel your face.' That's actable. But if I said: 'Be Cuban.' That is not actable."

"It's heartbreaking and a little chilling to see members of the artistic community re-segregating ourselves," he also said.

"You can act being attracted to someone, but you can't act gay or straight," he continued."So this notion that only gay actors should play gay characters? That only a Cuban actor should play Desi? Honestly, I think it's the mother of all empty gestures and a bad idea."

Billy Eichner, writer, actor, and executive producer, spoke out on this last point on Twitter.

"Completely ignorant of how Hollywood has treated its openly LGBTQ+ actors for a century," he wrote. Eichner has spoken about how the industry has forced performers to stay closeted in a variety of years. "Talking about shit he doesn't fully comprehend. Scared that Hollywood isn't (entirely) ruled by straight men anymore. Go write yourself a 'walk and talk' back into the past. Merry Christmas!"

Eichner, who is the executive producer, co-writer and a star in the history-making Bros. Last year, he spoke about the behind the scenes process.

"I was privy to casting discussions, and I would see when the casting lists were circulating, about which actors to call in for which role," he told Deadline. "There were so many straight actors on every list to play gay characters. And then, at the beginning before I raised my voice, for the straight characters in the movie, there were never gay actors on the lists for those roles. I saw it with my own eyes. It's not a two-way street."

In the end, likely due to Eichner raising his voice and being behind the scenes, the entire principal cast of the project identifies as LGBTQ+ including actors playing cisgender, heterosexual roles.

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