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Actress Kristin Chenoweth, star of the current Broadway musical “Promises, Promises” criticized an Apr. 27 Newsweek story that argued out actors cannot play straight roles.
“I was shocked on many levels to see Newsweek publishing [writer] Ramin Setoodeh's horrendously homophobic 'Straight Jacket,' which argues that gay actors are simply unfit to play straight,” Chenoweth wrote in the comments section of the story Friday on Newsweek.com.
The story cited her Tony-nominated co-star in "Promises, Promises," Sean Hayes, as a prime example of someone who can't connect with audiences as a heterosexual romantic lead because he's "out."
"He comes off as wooden and insincere, like he's trying to hide something, which of course he is," Setoodeh wrote of the former "Will & Grace" star's newest role.
Setoodeh also took issue with "Glee" star Jonathan Groff, who is openly gay.
"In 'Spring Awakening,' [Groff] showed us that he was a knockout singer and a heartthrob. But on TV, as the shifty glee captain from another school who steals Rachel's heart, there's something about his performance that feels off," Setoodeh argued.
Chenoweth defended Hayes, who this year has garnered a Tony nomination for his “Promises, Promises” role.
“From where I stand, on stage, with Hayes, every night -- I've observed nothing 'wooden' or 'weird' in his performance, nor have I noticed the seemingly unwieldy presence of a "pink elephant" in the Broadway Theater," Chenoweth wrote of her co-star.
"Thousands of people have traveled from all over the world to enjoy Hayes' performance," she added.
In addition to Hayes, Chenoweth cited Cynthia Nixon and Neil Patrick Harris as actors who have flourished in straight roles since coming out.
She concluded her rebuttal: “I encourage Newsweek to embrace stories which promote acceptance, love, unity and singing and dancing for all!”