Should Only Gays Play Gay

Every once in a while, someone champions the belief that gay roles should only be played by gay actors.  Richard E. Grant (Oscar-nominated last year for Can You Ever Forgive Me?) recently pushed this agenda in an interview with the Sunday Time in London.  “The transgender movement and the #MeToo movement means, how can you justify heterosexual actors playing gay characters?”  So, flipping it around, does Richard also wonder “how can you justify homosexual actors playing straight characters”?   ‘Cause, y’know, it’s a slippery slope.

I don’t know how the notorious REG will react to this next story.  Do you remember when Marvel announced plans for their first openly gay superhero?  And that they would only consider hiring an openly gay actor?  Way back then, it was rumored that the character would be “Ikaris”.  Apparently that is no longer the case.  Recent reports indicate that the character will be Phastos in The Eternals, as played by Brian Tyree Henry.  You may know BTH for his Emmy-nominated turn as rapper Paper Boi in the series Atlanta, or his guest-starring role on This is Us (also Emmy-nominated), or his Broadway turn in Lobby Hero (a Tony nomination).  Although Brian hasn’t made any declarations regarding his sex life, there have been rumors – particularly after his convincing portrayal of a drag queen in the play Wig Out, which was staged at the Sundance Theatre Lab in 2007.

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