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Writer Defends "Antigay" Article

Writer Defends "Antigay" Article


Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh has posted a response to actress Kristin Chenoweth and several readers who complained about his article "Straight Jacket," which questions the believability of gay actors in straight roles.

In his article Setoodeh specifically went after Chenoweth's Promises, Promises costar Sean Hayes, saying, "He comes off as wooden and insincere, like he's trying to hide something, which of course he is."' Chenoweth responded, calling the article "horrendously homophobic," though Setoodeh himself is openly gay.

Now, in the article "Out of Focus," Setoodeh says his words are being twisted and the suggestion that he is antigay is unfounded. "The point of my essay was not to disparage my own community, but to examine an issue that is being swept under the rug," he writes.

Setoodeh says he has received numerous complaints about the article and has been called a "self-hating Arab" and compared to Ann Coulter.

"But what all this scrutiny seemed to miss was my essay's point: if an actor of the stature of George Clooney came out of the closet today, would we still accept him as a heterosexual leading man? It's hard to say, because no actor like that exists. I meant to open a debate -- why is that? And what does it say about our notions about sexuality? For all the talk about progress in the gay community in Hollywood, has enough really changed? The answer seems obvious to me: no, it has not."

On Monday out actors Cheyenne Jackson and Michael Urie responded to the article at a Q&A after a performance of the off-Broadway show The Temperamentals, calling the writer an "asshole" who's "unconscionable.'"

Setoodeh also appeared on MSNBC to defend the article. Watch that segment here.

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