Out actor Russell Tovey angered many with comments he made about his early years in an interview with The Guardian. In the interview, Tovey revealed that his father refused to let him attend theater school. His dad “thought I’d become some tapdancing freak without qualifications,” Tovey said. “And he was right in a way. I’m glad I didn’t go. That might have changed…”
After contemplating his next words, Tovey added, “I feel like I could have been really effeminate, if I hadn’t gone to the school I went to. Where I felt like I had to toughen up. If I’d have been able to relax, prance around, sing in the street, I might be a different person now. I thank my dad for that, for not allowing me to go down that path. Because it’s probably given me the unique quality that people think I have.”
The actor is right that he's far from pigeonholed; aside from playing a philandering gay boss on Looking, Tovey is segueing to the role of a heterosexual convict in the BBC series Banished, about the first British prisoners sent to Australia.
Regardless of Tovey's intent, sites such as NewNowNext and social media posts are expressing anger at the actor's words.
— G (@Greative) March 2, 2015
Hours after gay social media exploded, Tovey tweeted: "#whiteflag #whiteflag." He added, "I surrender. You got me. I'm sat [sic] baffled and saddened that a mis- fired inarticulate quote of mine, has branded me worst gay ever... If you feel I have personally let you down, I'm sorry, that was never my intention... I'm proud to be who I am and proud of others We're in this together, I want you to know whatever you think I meant, I didn't... I'm gonna ride this out, and one day we will all look back on this moment with a half smile of fascination and amusement"
— russell tovey (@russelltovey) March 3, 2015