It took more than two weeks to say anything publicly, but yesterday the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) finally urged Newsweek to apologize for running an April 26th column that questioned gay actors' abilities to play straight characters.

“Whether he intended it to or not,” wrote GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios in a prepared statement, “Ramin Setoodeh's article in Newsweek

sends a false and damaging message about gay actors by endorsing the

idea that there are limits to the roles they are able to play.” 

GLAAD is supposedly the gay community's top media watchdog.

For some reason, though, the Newsweek article was nowhere on GLAAD's radar … or at least the group didn't let anyone know about it.

Actress Kristin Chenoweth and peeved gay bloggers such as the folks at Queerty first made the big, public stink about the bizarre piece, with GLAAD staying mum until now.

Setoodeh's column reminds us of last year's Todd Holland controversy — the gay TV director said gay actors should stay in the closet if they want to succeed in Hollywood.

Setoodeh is also a gay man, and seems to be saying once again that the closet is the perfect place for gay actors.

It's a kind of attitude that's all too common in Hollywood, which we examined in the L.A. Weekly cover story “The Secret Lives of Queer Leading Men.”

Setoodeh defends himself by saying he's trying to provoke a thoughtful debate on the issue of gay actors playing straight. That would be great … if the writer could pull his own weight.

Instead, the piece comes off as glib and thinly researched. It's actually hard to believe that Newsweek would run such material if only for a lack of journalism standards.

 And that begs the question: Who was Setoodeh's editor, anyway?

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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