Fresh off the heels of Ryan Murphy’s first open letter calling for the boycott of Newsweek due to an article claiming gay actors are unable to play straight roles, the ‘Glee‘ co-creator has scribed a second letter stating that the article’s author, Ramin Setoodeh, has agreed to a sit-down talk with Murphy and his fellow ‘Glee’ writers to discuss why they took offense to the piece. That’s the good news. The bad news? Murphy says he has yet to receive an apology from Newsweek for running what he calls a “hurtful bigoted diatribe.” Murphy’s second letter, posted to EW, below:
“I want to issue a personal thank you to GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios, writer/director Dustin Lance Black and countless others who have joined me in condemning Newsweek magazine and asking for an apology for their recent article ‘Straight Jacket,’ a hurtful bigoted diatribe in which they basically asserted that gay actors should not play straight roles because they are not “believable.” So far, Newsweek magazine has declined to issue an apology, other than to say they are big fans of the show I co-created, Glee — even the straight dudes around the Newsweek offices. I say thanks for your support, however glib, and continue — with many others offended by the article — to wait for a more substantial articulate response.
But in better more constructive news: Ramin Setoodeh, the author of the article, reached out to me today and accepted my offer to sit with myself and the writers of Glee — Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan — to discuss not only why we found the piece so offensive, but also to observe our creative process and see how we construct a TV show dedicated exclusively to the idea of inclusiveness and acceptance for all — ideas solely absent in his ‘Straight Jacket’ article.
Along with inviting him into our Glee writers room, I will also let him observe our casting process…so he can witness first hand — and speak to — actors who audition for our show and who are already series regulars — actors who are encouraged to read for ALL roles, no matter what their sexual orientation, color or gender. Who cares who you are or who you sleep with — men, women, sheep — frankly, it’s none of our business or concern. The actor with the best audition should get the part. On Glee, straight actors play gay roles, gay actors play straight roles and no one is discriminated against. I hope observing this process firsthand — and talking with our cast — will be illuminating to Mr. Setoodeh, and inform his future journalistic endeavors.
In my telephone conversation with him, Mr. Setoodeh mentioned how he feels cornered, misunderstood and unfairly attacked. I look forward to hearing his reasons for writing the article, and will of course listen with an open heart and mind. Vicious anonymous attacks — which Mr. Setoodeh feels he has been subjected to over the past two days — aren’t cool or acceptable, and get us no where. What DOES move the ball forward is education and a fair and open dialogue, and I want Mr. Setoodeh to know that all of us at Glee are committed to that, and encourage it.