Friday, 5 March 2021
Can straight actors play gays?

by Phyllis Chesler

This cannot be happening spontaneously, this must be part of a plan, a funded strategy of sorts. Cancelling the classics, cancelling books that critique Islamic practices and the aggressive tactics of the transgender cult; challenging professors on how they teach race and gender identity -- and on whether or not they present “sex work” as sexual slavery. Let’s not forget the incessant swarming, bullying, and firing of Jewish students from committees and Jewish professors on campus if they dare to express any pro-Israel views. Non-Jewish professors as well.

Now this: A “star” writer, Russell T. Davies, opposes “casting straight actors in gay roles.” Come again? Does this mean that gay actors can only play gay characters? And that straight actors can only play straight characters? That only African, Hispanic, Asian or native American Indian actors can play African/Hispanic/Asian/Native American Indian roles -- and that they absolutely cannot play white roles? Even in costume dramas? Talk about balkanization and ghettoization and the law of unintended consequences! Are “cisgender“ male actors no longer allowed to play “cisgender” female roles and vice versa? Quel Horreur! Does this mean that all drag queens and transsexual performers must be shut down for impersonating the opposite sex? Or another sex?

And here I thought that acting was about... well, acting. Taking on a role that is not yourself. That is the art of it all. This madness will not stop at sex, sexual preference, or gender identity. Will actors soon be vetted in terms of their political beliefs? Or private lives? Should Vanessa Redgrave, an ardent critic of Israel, really have been allowed to play the role of a Holocaust victim?

Let me go further. We have already seen writers castigated and even cancelled for daring to write about an ethnicity not their own. Must writers only write about themselves and their own experiences lest they be savaged and silenced as “cultural appropriators?”

Where will this idea end? Shall we burn Flaubert’s Madame Bovary because he wrote so well about a woman? Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina  because he did the same? George Eliot because she wrote so masterfully about both men and women? What do we do about Virginia Woolf who was bisexual and yet who wrote about Mrs. Dalloway who was not?

A gay friend insists that so many gay actors have been “playing” straight for so long that they indeed can play both gay and straight roles far better than straight actors can play being gay. I am not sure this is true. Not all gay people who’ve had to “pass” to survive can act on stage or screen, not everyone is a great actor or performer. Also, everyone in the theater and cinematic worlds have known full well who was and who wasn’t gay. There have always been gay dancers, directors, musicians, composers, conductors -- and actors. Now, it is all far more out in the open. We, the audience get to know this information too, irrelevant though it may be.

I must note that, other than a handful of female directors and actresses over fifty, that no one else is arguing loudly enough for more roles for women, and for women of all ages, not just girl-women who look like perennial teenagers, but women who look like our grandmothers too.

I fear that the times are against this way of thinking, that I am a relic, that all those who agree with me are fading into the past. Still, this balkanization of our culture, our civilization, is as dangerous as the COVID-19 virus; perhaps even more so.

First published in American Thinker.

Posted on 03/05/2021 8:54 AM by Phyllis Chesler
No comments yet.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!



Adam Selene (2) A.J. Caschetta (7) Adam Smith (1) Ahnaf Kalam (2) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew E. Harrod (3) Andrew Harrod (5) Andy Thomas (1) Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Bat Ye'or (6) Bill Corden (7) Bradley Betters (1) Brex I Teer (9) Brian of London (32) Bruce Bawer (38) Carol Sebastian (1) Christina McIntosh (869) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (786) Daniel Mallock (6) David Ashton (1) David J. Baldovin (3) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (78) David Wemyss (1) Devdutta Maji (1) Dexter Van Zile (75) Donald J. Trump (1) Dr. Michael Welner (3) E. B Samuel (1) Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (1) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (15) Esmerelda Weatherwax (10195) Fergus Downie (23) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (79) G. Tod Slone (1) Gary Fouse (187) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Botkin (1) Geoffrey Clarfield (351) George Rojas (1) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hesham Shehab and Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Hossein Khorram (2) Howard Rotberg (36) Hugh Fitzgerald (21503) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) J.M. Phelps (1) James Como (26) James Robbins (1) James Stevens Curl (5) Janet Charlesworth (1) Janice Fiamengo (5) jeffrey burghauser (2) Jenna Wright (1) Jerry Gordon (2525) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (7) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (122) John Hajjar (6) John M. Joyce (394) John Rossomando (1) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Jordan Cope (1) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Francis (2) Kenneth Hanson (1) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (29) Lawrence Eubank (1) Lev Tsitrin (41) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Manda Zand Ervin (3) Marc Epstein (9) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mark Zaslav (1) Martha Shelley (1) Mary Jackson (5065) Matthew Hausman (53) Matthew Stewart (2) Michael Curtis (823) Michael Rechtenwald (69) Mordechai Nisan (2) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2594) New English Review Press (139) Nidra Poller (75) Nikos A. Salingaros (1) Nonie Darwish (10) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Oakley (1) Paul Weston (5) Paula Boddington (1) Peter McGregor (1) Peter McLoughlin (1) Philip Blake (1) Phyllis Chesler (260) Rebecca Bynum (7266) Reg Green (49) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (19) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (85) Sally Ross (36) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sam Westrop (2) Samuel Chamberlain (2) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (4) Stacey McKenna (1) Stephen Bryen (1) Stephen Schecter (1) Steve Hecht (37) Sumner Park (1) Susan Warner & Benjamin Baird (1) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (1006) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Timothy H. Ives (1) Tom Harb (4) Tyler Curtis (1) Walid Phares (33) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
Site Archive