Jim Parsons says gay characters should be ‘open to all actors’.
The comments come after James Corden’s controversial performance as Barry Glickman in Ryan Murphy’s The Prom, sparking further debate whether straight actors should take on LGBTQ+ roles.
Parsons, who played Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory as well as appearing in Netflix’s The Boys in the Band, personally believes all characters should be open to everyone, as long as they’re treated with respect.
“There’s definitely this spectrum: I think the fight, as it were, is not about having only gay people play the gay parts but to ensure that all parts are open to all actors,” Parsons told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s important that gay characters are portrayed as well-rounded and completely human individuals.”
“And there are plenty of straight actors who have played gay characters brilliantly. I think Brokeback Mountain is one of the most touching gay movies and love stories I have ever seen, and those two straight actors [Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal] were the best choices for those roles,” he said.
After the release of The Prom, critics immediately commented on Corden’s performance.
“The Prom shouts about tolerance but has James Corden leaning into effeminate gay stereotypes every chance he gets. Someone make it make sense?” IndieWire‘s Zack Sharf wrote on Twitter.
“The main, and huge, a drawback is James Corden. His performance is gross and offensive, the worst gayface in a long, long time. It’s horrifically bad,” AwardsWatch’s Erik Anderson also tweeted.
Corden did not comment on the backlash.