Full Version: Should straight actors play gay roles ?
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I know we've touched on this in other threads, but Russell T Davies has now kicked it off big style over here with comments about his new show.
(he's not stupid - its all just to get it publicity)


But what do we think ?

I hate to put my Daily Mail hat on... but I think its utterly ridiculous.
They're actors. They play other characters. 
Why should you need to be a gay to play a pretend gay ??

Lets have a heated debate !
Quote:Davies insisted he was 'not being woke about this' and said it would ensure an authentic portrayal.

Are we to assume Tennant is an actual gallifreyan then?? Otherwise how could he be an authentic timelord??

Quote:Davies added: 'You wouldn't cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair, you wouldn't black someone up.'

Putting an able-bodied actor in a wheel chair is exactly what they did in Glee, way back in oh, 2009.

Davies might claim it's not, but it clearly is a case of "look how politically correct (aka woke) I am".

As stated by most of the actors in that article, it's "acting". Would he cast only a real serial killer and cannibal if (god forbid) they ever reboot Silence of the Lambs??

** I'm quite worried now that I seem to agree with most Daily Mail readers **
Rumour has it the The Queen will be playing herself in the next series of The Crown Tongue
I think the issue is really that we don't build gay actors up like we do straight actors. There are tons of complicated reasons. Some self-inflicted.

If it really were an equal playing field, it wouldn't matter. Too often, straight men get gay roles for prestige while gay actors get no roles or pigeon-holed into a stereotype role instead. Because they don't have bankability. This ignores a system that refuses to give gay actors equal opportunity.

You also can say that about most other minorities. Up until very recently, we really would paint up a white man to play Black or Asian or especially Native or whatever. We've slightly evolved to making racially ambiguous people play ethnicities they are not, but it's fruit from the poisoned tree.

It isn't as simple as just plain acting. It absolutely should be that simple. There are actors out there never having the opportunity. Are we really pretending we can't find them?
Thats a different issue

What that amounts to is basically prejudice against gay actors when selecting them for roles. That is nothing to do with only gays can play gays unless you are saying that gay roles need to be "saved" for gays cos gays can't get any other work.

As far as race goes..
We've now come full circle from 'blacking up' to it being completely acceptable that a black or asian actor can play the role of a historical, white figure.
The recent David Copperfield film is an example.
Copperfield's race is never specified, and since theater and cinema has been white dominated since its inception, it's a leveling off. He's also a fictional character. Dev Patel's a Brit as much as anyone born in 1990 in London.

How often was Othello played by white actors in blackface (or whatever ethnicity the director decided). When cinema has been completely dominated by actors of color for over a century at the expense of white actors, then we can talk about David Copperfield.

I'd say these aren't separate issues, since art has been whitewashed since the dawn of lighter skin. Given historic inequality, race-swapping assumed white characters is not the same as whitewashing characters of color.
(13-01-2021, 03:06 PM)deegee178 Wrote: [ -> ]Rumour has it the The Queen will be playing herself in the next series of The Crown  Tongue


(13-01-2021, 03:08 PM)Heinrich Wrote: [ -> ]bankability.

You hit the nail on the head there ($$$ £££ €€€). Approve
Agreed that it's totally bonkers. Rather worrying that a Screenwriter doesn't seem to understand what 'acting' actually is.

God help us if Russell T Davies starts doing Murder Mysteries; will he have to go a prison to recruit the actors he wants to play the role of the villian?
Gay characters are written to bring representation, so there for i kinda agree with him, there aren’t many gay parts for gay actors to play so with the little ones there are why should a straight person take that away, esp as there are a ton of straight parts which is why it’s ok for a gay person to play a straight part. It’s jot about “oh we have to have murderes play murderers” that’s some conservative logic.
So why in RTD's many previous dramas did he not bother about getting gay actors to play the gay parts ?

Where there no gays in the late 90s and 00s ?
I think Davies' point is probably that out gay actors struggle to get straight roles - or certain types of straight roles perhaps - and so casting straight actors in gay roles is taking away what few opportunities there are. I'm not sure how true this is, to be honest - I haven't really done any research - but I'd guess that's what he's driving at.

Colour/gender blind casting is very common now in theatre especially - all black productions of Shakespeare, black Hamlets, female Lears etc - and I think that's what we should aim for. Just because it isn't here right now doesn't mean we should compartmentalise "gay roles" and say only gay actors can play them. Gender-blind casting can work both ways, so I don't see why "sexuality-blind" casting can't.

Colour-blind casting would be problematic in that regard, obviously - we don't want white actors blacking up again - but there have been some interesting suggestions. I did read about a mooted production with a white Othello and an all-black cast around him. Don't know if it ever got past the idea stage though!
(14-01-2021, 01:09 PM)Ollie2UK Wrote: [ -> ]female Lears

Queen Lear?
Patrick Stewart did that Othello in the 90s. All-Black cast around him.

I LOVE tweaks like that, and it's one of the secret treasures of Frasier. Kelsey was the only straight man in the main cast. That is kind of a different tack to merely orientation-swapping for roles because it's a play on a whole construct. Which is also why I'm fine with Dev Patel as Copperfield or a woman Dr. Who. It becomes a "Why IS this character always a white man" instead of "SHOVE WOKE POLITICS DOWN OUR THROATS."

Admittedly, there's an overlap of motivations with the higher-ups and not for noble reasons.
(14-01-2021, 05:38 PM)Heinrich Wrote: [ -> ]Patrick Stewart did that Othello in the 90s. All-Black cast around him.

Christ, I didn't realise it was THAT long ago,  Wow

I'd forgotten that Niles and Martin were both played by gay actors, but then that's exactly as it should be - gay playing straight, straight playing gay, and nobody raising an eyebrow. Just a shame Kelsey Grammer turned out to be such a right-wing nutcase. Still, I can forgive him anything for Frasier!
He's my one mulligan. Otherwise I've been fine boycotting Republicans and I don't miss them.

There again, the fun of Frasier is they have so many great episodes about gay misunderstandings that it becomes part of the farce. Indeed, Frasier certainly employed more gay actors than any show at the time. Even Bulldog and Gil!

All of my replies come with the understanding that I really love a lot of those performances. Michael Cimino especially loves Victor dearly. All of the cast respect and love LGBTQ people and are active allies. As are all the straight men who've played gay in the past.

However, in the case of Love, Simon and now Love, Victor...they couldn't find gay actors for ANY of the leads? Really? Not even George Sear's initial boyfriend?
Quote:However, in the case of Love, Simon and now Love, Victor...they couldn't find gay actors for ANY of the leads? Really? Not even George Sear's initial boyfriend?

But why should they have to ?

So 2 actors go for the audition for a part. One is better at acting but the other should get the part because he takes it up the arse in his spare time ?
I'm positive there are thousands of gay actors just as good as Michael Cimino and George Sear. It's such a specifically gay story, didn't require any big names, and I do think they could have had at least one gay in the main cast. This is where it pisses me off. I wouldn't even care if it was a gay guy playing one of the straight roles and a straight guy playing gay. To have none at all is ludicrous.
(14-01-2021, 11:55 PM)ladsnet Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:However, in the case of Love, Simon and now Love, Victor...they couldn't find gay actors for ANY of the leads? Really? Not even George Sear's initial boyfriend?

But why should they have to ?

So 2 actors go for the audition for a part. One is better at acting but the other should get the part because he takes it up the arse in his spare time ?

Because as I said there’s enough straight roles for straight actors let the gays have the scraps they are thrown.
This is a really interesting thread to read, and actually good to see points of views being listened to and repsonded to.
I have no idea where we stand in the world now.
A friend was talking to me the other day about mixed race couples appearing in virtually every ad she had seen on tv that night and wondered whether casting agencies for advertising on TV had that as a priority. I don't work in advertising so couldn't possibly answer!
She worries for 'my community' as we seem to be a minority who are non threatening but don't have anyone standing up for us if the shit hit the fan, whereas people cannot get on the BLM/Woke bandwagon quick enough, because it's seen as the right thing to do, all this virtue signalling.
Do we need to worry for our community? My friend was saying that if there was an agenda to remove gay people from the UK, would there be outcry? Would people associated with BLM put the same effort in as they do with their own beliefs?
Not sure if many people are aware of the Justin Thomas incident from this week?
He used the faggot word as a curse when he missed a putt in the golf. It was picked up and then he apologised for it and said it was completely out of order. Yes, it was out of order, and this is obviously my personal opinion but he's apologised for it and would I go for a drink with him? No because he probably uses this language in his personal life so not a character I'd hang around with. But I would be completely naive if I didn't think that there are homophobic people out there, or people who think this language is acceptable.
This is turning into a longer thread than I had hoped but suddenly Ralph Lauren have ended their sponsorship of him and no doubt everyone else will to. This is part of the issue I have. Is redemption now not allowed? Could Ralph Lauren could have put out a statement and turned it into a different story where Thomas pledged some money, or went to an awareness course etc. no doubt other sponsors will now pull from him but I remember when apologies would suffice.
You have to make a distinction between markets that companies want to target with advertising ($$$) and people jumping on a bandwagon (BLM) because it's the right thing to do.  Those are two totally different forces coming from different entities in the community.

As for companies ending sponsorships, they'll do the right thing if it doesn't hurt their bottom line.  In recent years major corporations have floats in the NYC Gay Pride March.  It's advertising to a profitable market ($$$). (Money sees no race/gender/sexual orientation)

I don't know who Justin Thomas is (didn't read the link - a golf pro?), but I wouldn't rule out going for a drink with him based on his comment.  The best way to influence and change people is to engage with them in a good way, not create more division.
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