Groff and Sean Hayes were singled out in a harsh online piece about gay actors playing straight roles.
Columnist Ramin Setoodeh called Groff a “theater queen” and hammered Hayes’ performance in Broadway’s Promises, Promises, stating, “It’s weird seeing Hayes play straight.”
Hayes’ co-star, Kristin Chenoweth, has already condemned the article in an open letter posted on various social networking sites, and now Murphy is speaking out, calling Setoodeh’s article, “damaging, needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted.”
In an open letter sent to select news agencies and magazines, Murphy writes, “I would like to join my good friend Kristin Chenoweth on her condemnation of a recent Newsweek article written by Mr. Ramin Setoodeh, in which Setoodeh basically says that out gay actors should go back into the closet and never attempt to play straight characters.
“This article is as misguided as it is shocking and hurtful. It shocks me because Mr. Setoodeh is himself gay. But what is the most shocking of all is that Newsweek went ahead and published such a blatantly homophobic article in the first place…and has remained silent in the face of ongoing (and justified) criticism.
“I have asked GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) president Jarrett Barrios to stand with me and others and ask for an immediate boycott of Newsweek magazine until an apology is issued to Sean Hayes and other brave out actors who were cruelly singled out.”
Murphy has also asked the columnist to join him on the set of Glee, so he can explain himself and his comments.
Setoodeh has since responded to the criticism levelled at him, insisting, “The point of my essay was not to disparage my own community, but to examine an issue that is being swept under the rug.”
In a new online article, posted on Monday night (10May10), the columnist claims he has been personally attacked online, by phone and through the post.
He writes, “My article became a straw man for homophobia and hurt in the world… I was hoping to start a dialogue that would be thoughtful, not to become a target for people who twisted my words.”