PREACH IT! Kristin Chenoweth does our job for us. Thanks, doll!
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It’s a lazy day here for us here at Preach It! Why? Because someone else stepped up and did our job for us. Thank you, Kristin Chenoweth, for calling out Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh as a complete, utter and quite possibly self-hating dingbat, and doing with almost as much panache and verbal jiu-jitsu as we would have mustered ourselves. It all started when Setoodeh posted an article essentially saying that gay actors should stay in the closet. He cited openly gay thespians like Sean Hayes -- star of the Broadway revival of “Promises, Promises” with Chenoweth -- and “Glee’s” Mr. Vocal Adrenaline, Jonathan Groff. Setoodeh’s general point: Gays can’t play straight, because they’re just too gay, gay, gay.
“Frankly,” Setoodeh writes, “it’s weird seeing Hayes play straight. He comes off as wooden and insincere, like he’s trying to hide something, which of course he is. Even the play’s most hilarious scene, when Chuck tries to pick up a drunk woman at a bar, devolves into unintentional camp.”
Of Groff, Setoodeh says, “When he smiles or giggles, he seems more like your average theater queen.”
Setoodeh also argued that none of this hetero bigotry is anybody’s fault. It’s just, like, how we’re raised: “We are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker-room torture in junior high school.”
This ticked off some people, including Chenoweth, who wrote an angry letter ...
... in response. The letter kicks way too much booty to be summed up in this tiny blog -- you can read the whole thing here -- but here are some of the finer uppercuts:
-- “We’re actors first, whether we’re playing prostitutes, baseball players, or the Lion King. Audiences come to theater to go on a journey. It’s a character and it’s called acting, and I’d put Hayes and his brilliance up there with some of the greatest actors period.” -- “Setoodeh even goes so far as to justify his knee-jerk homophobic reaction to gay actors by accepting and endorsing that ‘as viewers, we are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker room torture in junior high school.’ Really? We want to maintain and proliferate the same kind of bullying that makes children cry and in some recent cases have even taken their own lives? That’s so sad, Newsweek!” -- “No one needs to see a bigoted, factually inaccurate article that tells people who deviate from heterosexual norms that they can’t be open about who they are and still achieve their dreams.”
And oh: Chenoweth wasn’t done. Oh no, she was not.
“I am told on good authority that Mr. Setoodeh is a gay man himself and I would hope, as the author of this article, he would at least understand that. I encourage Newsweek to embrace stories which promote acceptance, love, unity and singing and dancing for all!”
Boom! Served! Or ... you tell us, in our nonscientific online poll.
-- Leslie Gornstein
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