Scroll To Top
World

From The
Office
to the Soapbox

From The
Office
to the Soapbox

Nunezx390

On NBC's The Office gay accountant Oscar Martinez brings some diversity to the motley crew run by Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell). Martinez is brought to life by Oscar Nunez, a straight, Cuban-born actor who feels strongly about the passage of Prop. 8 and how Californians can overturn it.

Nbroverman

On NBC's The Office, gay accountant Oscar Martinez brings some diversity to the motley crew run by Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell). Martinez is brought to life by Oscar Nunez, a straight, Cuban-born actor who feels strongly about the passage of Prop. 8 and how Californians can overturn it.

Advocate.com:Inthe wake of Proposition 8 passing, many fingers have been pointed. Do you feel caught in the middle as a Latino guy in L.A. who plays a gay man on one of TV's most popular shows?Oscar Nunez: Proposition 8 passed, but the vote was very close. A lot of people have been protesting, as well they should. That's great; the young people need to vent. The mind-set of the Mormons and all the people that sent money [supporting Prop. 8] -- that mind-set will never be changed. They are always going to put things like this on the ballot. So what needs to be done is a two-pronged attack. First, judicially, so the majority doesn't terrorize the minority. And that's being taken care of now [with three lawsuits filed against Prop. 8].

The other way to do something about this is to take it out of the hands of the Mormon Church or whoever is doing this against the gay community. Another way is to put it to a vote again; it was very close this time.

If that happens, what should be done differently? The gay community is really good at organizing. It would behoove us to go to Compton, Watts, east L.A.; the Latino and African-American communities. The gay community should plan a 5K run or a book sale [benefiting those communities] and don't even mention Prop. 8. We need to go there and give love and do something positive. I would venture there are many African-American and Latino people who don't know any gay people. It's very hard to vote against someone if you know someone. I'm not saying you're going to convince everyone, but out of 100 votes you can maybe get 25. People are too separated in this town.

I think many people don't want to put same-sex marriage to a vote again. In 10 years it wouldn't pass. Things are changing; this is the final barrier. But the battle is not going to be won in ideology. You can't convince someone his or her faith is wrong. You need to go into communities just for the sake of it and the votes will start swaying. That's the way to do it.

On The Office, Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) is clueless about gay people but clearly has nothing against them. I wonder how many people are like Michael. Yeah -- Michael likes Oscar, but just like Archie Bunker, it comes from a place from ignorance. If Michael were just a bigot, it wouldn't be funny at all.

When you signed on for the show, did you know the producers and writers were going to make your character gay? After the middle of the first season, there was a rumor that Oscar was going to be gay. Greg Daniels (he's the boss) said, "Do you mind if the character is gay?" And I'm like, "I don't give a shit."

Really? I'm from New York and I've been in theatre. I've known about the gay community since I was 16 or 17. I don't mind at all speaking out for common sense.

The Office airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central) on NBC.

Nbroverman
Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.