SAG Slams Anti-Gay Newsweek Piece

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The Screen Actors Guild has spoken out about a controversial Newsweek article that has drawn fire from advocacy groups and the entertainment industry. In an April piece entitled "Straight Jacket," writer Ramin Setoodeh criticized the performance of actor Sean Hayes in the current Broadway revival of "Promises, Promises," asserting that the openly gay Hayes can not play a convincing heterosexual because of his sexuality.

"Intentional or not, Ramin Setoodeh's wrongheaded argument sends a damaging and false message that we are limited in the roles we are able to play," Jason Stuart, chair of the SAG National LGBT Actors Committee, said in a statement from the guild. "This committee was formed to provide support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender actors so that they no longer need to feel as if they must hide who they are in order to work in this business. Unfortunately, harmful attitudes like those of Setoodeh are used to pressure actors to stay in the closet. Our work is clearly not done and we will continue to fight to end fear within the acting community that being open about who you are means the end of your career. I'm an actor; it's not who I am but what I can play that counts."

Setoodeh's piece prompted a sharp rebuke last week from Hayes' co-star Kristin Chenoweth in the form of a comment on The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has condemned the piece, and Ryan Murphy, co-creator of the television show "Glee," has called for a boycott of Newsweek.