‘Glee’ Co-Creator Ryan Murphy Calls For Newsweek Boycott

by | May 12, 2010 at 8:39 AM | Celebrities, Glee, TV News

Ryan Murphy (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Ryan Murphy (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Glee‘ co-creator Ryan Murphy has joined the growing ranks of celebrities condemning Newsweek for a recent article by Ramin Setoodeh criticizing gay actors for their inability to play straight characters. In an open letter posted by EW, Murphy calls for an all-out boycott of the publication, saying the article’s contents are “damaging, needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted.” In a response statement issued to The New York Times, a spokesperson for Newsweek wrote: “Ramin Setoodeh wrote a thoughtful, honest essay on a controversial topic. It’s unfortunate that his argument has been misunderstood and he has been unfairly accused of bigotry. We also hope we still get our advance copies of ‘Glee’ because here at Newsweek we’re among the show’s biggest fans (even the straight folks).” Read Murphy’s full letter below:

“I would like to join my good friend Kristin Chenoweth on her condemnation of a recent Newsweek article written by Mr. Ramin Setoodeh, in which Setoodeh basically says that out gay actors should go back into the closet and never attempt to play straight characters. This article is as misguided as it is shocking and hurtful. It shocks me because Mr. Setoodeh is himself gay. But what is the most shocking of all is that Newsweek went ahead and published such a blatantly homophobic article in the first place…and has remained silent in the face of ongoing (and justified) criticism. Would the magazine have published an article where the author makes a thesis statement that minority actors should only be allowed and encouraged to play domestics? I think not.

Today, I have asked GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios to stand with me and others and ask for an immediate boycott of Newsweek magazine until an apology is issued to Sean Hayes and other brave out actors who were cruelly singled out in this damaging, needlessly cruel, and mind-blowingly bigoted piece. An apology should also be issued to all gay readers of the magazine…steelworkers, parents, accountants, doctors, etc…proud hardworking Americans who, if this article is to be believed, should only identify themselves as “queeny” people (a word used by Setoodeh in the article) who stand at the back of the bus and embrace an outdated decades old stereotype.

Mr. Setoodeh has recently Twittered that he is a fan of Glee, the show I co-created with Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk…the show on which Mr. Groff plays the straight love interest to Lea Michele, a casting choice embraced by fans and critics alike which Mr. Setoodeh has taken issue with.

I extend an open invitation to Mr. Setoodeh to come to the writers room of our show, and perhaps pay a set visit. Hopefully then he can see how we take care to do a show about inclusiveness…a show that encourages all viewers no matter what their sexual orientation to go after their hopes and dreams and not be pigeonholed by dated and harmful rhetoric…rhetoric he sadly spews and believes in. Hopefully, some of the love we attempt to spread will rub off on Mr. Setoodeh — a gay man deeply in need of some education —  and he not only apologizes to those he has deeply offended but pauses before he picks up his poison pen again to work through the issues of his own self loathing. Give me a call, Ramin…I’d love to hear from you. I’ll even give you a free copy of our Madonna CD, on which we cover “Open Your Heart,” a song you should play in your house and car on repeat.

Ryan