Russell T Davis Says Gay Roles Should Be Played by Gay Actors | 22 Words

Since the rise and increasing acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, embracing individuals' identities is now encouraged more than ever, and this means displaying it in the media.

But as always, it raised an important question about the limitations of the idea: Should straight actors be allowed to play LGBTQ+ characters?

Well, Russell T Davies has some strong views on the issue.

Keep scrolling to hear what he had to say...

Now, the ways in which we watch television are evolving.

The television and film industry is rapidly diversifying, including its characters and the stories it tells, and especially in 2020, it is ensured that all forms of diversity are represented.

This includes people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community...

In modern-day television, whether that's children's or adult TV, it is crucial to include different forms of diversity in order to create an accurate representation of the real world.

And this will, in turn, help to minimize ignorance and discrimination.

Getty

Well, that's the hope, but with a lot of progressions comes a lot of questions and the most recent one involves none other than the LGBTQ community.

The community is now bigger than ever...

More and more young people are feeling comfortable and safe enough to come out as gay or trans as they can now come out to an incredibly supportive community of people who identify in similar ways.

The attitudes towards the community have generally improved over the years...

But sadly, there are still individuals out there who are against the LGBTQ+ community - meaning more support is needed than ever.

Despite the hate, the LGBTQ+ community has been represented on television for quite some time...

Who remembers Sesame Street? The '80s kids show was packed full of political references and adult humor, but it was announced last year that Bert and Ernie were, in fact, a gay couple.

The characters were based on life experiences...

It was reported that scriptwriter Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert and Ernie were a gay couple, he responded with: "And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them."

The first-ever gay couple on children's TV?

It seems so, and many more characters that held an LGBTQ+ diversity were soon to make an appearance on our screens, including the one and only Disney.

There have been many rumors surrounding certain Disney characters...

Despite there yet to be any confirmed gay Disney characters, loyal fans have drawn conclusions over certain faces such as Hades from Hercules, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, and Oaken from Frozen due to their strong gay followings.

And it isn't only in children's TV that has been progression...

Movies have seen an increase in LGBTQ+ characters in all sectors but especially in the mainstream.

But recently, a debate has been raised on the issue of sexuality in the media.

People have been asking the question: Should straight actors be allowed to play LGBTQ characters?

Now both sides of the argument raise some good points...

Getty

On one hand, we have people who believe acting is acting and people should be hired on how well they portray the role, even if that means having members of the community portray straight roles, while others have suggested that LGBTQ+ characters are already still very rare to find compared to straight acting roles, so should be given to actual LGBTQ actors.

The issue is pretty deep considering that Scarlett Johansson was recently stripped of her role where she would have been portraying a trans character.

Getty

To be honest, Scarlett Johansson is awarded a lot of roles that aren't really acceptable. Remember when she was cast to play a Japanese woman despite her being Scandanavian? God, that was messy.

Well, it seems that It's A Sin creator, Russell T Davies, has some strong views on the issue.

Getty Images

And he didn't hold back.

But it seems people had some very strong opinions on what he had to say...

The writer and showrunner said "it's about authenticity," when addressing the ongoing debate.

Getty Images

In a brand new interview, ahead of his upcoming series, Davies spoke about his decision to cast gay actors.

The show is set to star Years & Years' Olly Alexander, as well as Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry.

Getty Images

"I'm not being woke about this… But I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, I am casting them to act as a lover, or an enemy, or someone on drugs or a criminal or a saint… They are not there to 'act gay' because 'acting gay' is a bunch of codes for a performance," Davies explained to the Radio Times.

He continued.

Getty Images

"It's about authenticity, the taste of 2020. You wouldn't cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair, you wouldn't black someone up. Authenticity is leading us to joyous places."

What do you think?