- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 19, 2017

British-American actor Andrew Garfield recently told the BBC his comments about portraying a gay character on stage have been “twisted” and “taken out of context.”

Mr. Garfield, who portrays AIDS patient Prior Walter in a London production of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America,” found himself on the firing line after comments he made during a Q&A session in which he discussed how he immersed himself in gay culture in order to better portray his character.

“This is my life outside of this play,” Mr. Garfield said, a British gay-interest website reported this month. “I am a gay man right now just without the physical act.”

“Every Sunday I would have eight friends over and we would just watch Ru [RuPaul’s Drag Race],” Mr. Garfield, who is straight, said at one point, according to the BBC.

“Maybe I’ll have an awakening later in my life, which I’m sure will be wonderful, and I’ll get to explore that part of the garden,” he added.



Critics subsequently lit up social media condemning him for his comments, prompting the “Spider-Man” alumnus to respond, explaining his answer.

“It’s a love letter to the LGBTQ community. We were talking about, ‘How do you prepare for something so important and so big?’ and I was basically saying, ‘I dive in as fully as I possibly can.’ “

In recent years while positive or affirming portrayals of LGBT community members in pop culture have increased, many generally liberal culture critics have turned a critical eye to the casting choices in those productions, saying that the entertainment industry is not doing enough to represent them.

For example, late last month pop culture website TheMarySue.com took issue with non-transgender actors portraying transgender characters in a piece titled “The History of Cis Actors Playing Trans Roles Isn’t Pretty.”

“It’s a vicious cycle. Trans actors don’t get cast, so they don’t gain experience or build a name, so they don’t get cast, so they don’t gain experience and build a name,” complained the website. “At some point Hollywood needs to take a chance on these people to build the stars of the future.”

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