Cynthia Nixon on the Newsweek anti-gay actors article: ‘horrible,’ ‘cruel’

MTV Josh’s Horowitz asked Sex and The City’s Cynthia Nixon for her thoughts on a controversial article in Newsweek. You might remember earlier this month when author Ramin Setoodeh called two different gay actors “queeny” and claimed that out gay actors couldn’t convincingly play straight characters. Glee guest star Kristen Chenoweth and Glee’s creator Ryan Murphy are among the people who spoke out against the piece, with Chenoweth calling it homophobic and Murphy urging a boycott of Newsweek. Nixon has a same sex partner and has been outspoken about the fact that she’s gay and in love with a woman. She similarly condemned the article for its antiquated and damaging stance on gay actors:

I think it’s so horrible and I think it’s really terrific that there has been such an enormous response and so much back and forth discussion about it. And people trying to explain to this gentleman why they’re so upset about what he wrote. I feel like it’s hard enough to encourage people to come out of the closet like it’s not going to damage their careers and when you have someone who is so… it’s not even like he’s just negative. He’s making fun of people in a really cruel way. It’s really set us back 10 years.

[From Cynthia Nixon’s interview on MTV’s Rough Cut, video above]

I completely agree with Nixon and the more interviews I see with her the more I admire how open and honest she is. This clip was part of MTV’s Rough Cut series, and Horowitz has other interviews with the creator of the series, Michael Patrick King, and with stars Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker. Horowitz asked Catrall about a third Sex and the City movie (video below) and she said she hopes there will be another one and that she’s game for it! “I don’t know if there will be a third. I hope there will be. I think there’s more stories to be told… I think the only way it will continue is if Michael feels that there’s more to be said. I think once we start repeating ourselves then it’s time to say goodbye. Maybe that’s in five years, maybe it’s in ten. Who knows? I hope we can do it for as long as the audience is there.” So Cattrall will take the money with a smile.

In the same series of interviews, creator Michael Patrick King cleared up rumors that Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes were turned down for cameos in the sequel. He said “I didn’t turn down Victoria Beckham and I never turned down Katie Holmes. In fact I bumped into Katie Holmes the other night, and she said to me ‘Tell me that Carrie doesn’t cheat on Big with Aiden.'”

I have to admit that I got the lead for this story when I went over to Perez Hilton’s site to report on the jaw-dropping $20 million offer he’s received. Like I said he gets stories fast.

Actress Cynthia Nixon poses for a portrait during a media day to promote the film Sex and the City 2 in New York

Actress Cynthia Nixon poses for a portrait during a media day to promote the film Sex and the City 2 in New York

Actress Cynthia Nixon poses for a portrait during a media day to promote the film Sex and the City 2 in New York

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

26 Responses to “Cynthia Nixon on the Newsweek anti-gay actors article: ‘horrible,’ ‘cruel’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Tess says:

    What’s up with this?

    I’ve read that the guy who wrote the article is gay. And Newsweek, which is way left of center, printed it.

  2. Feebee says:

    Maybe because I’m not gay I can’t feel the full extent of how deep a stab this article is. It sounded off to me but parts just sounded like a grossly generalised opinion/observation. One that should be dismissed without merit.

  3. Leticia says:

    Tess, I agree with you, I don’t get the controversy with this particular article, due to who wrote it and who printed it. It’s not like Glenn Beck wrote it and it was printed in Wall Street Journal.

  4. Tess says:

    @ Leticia

    Hah!!! So true. Sigh.

  5. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    I cannot stand Cynthia Nixon. Never have liked her character on SATC and just have never liked her in any interview I have seen her do.

  6. lucy2 says:

    I’m not gay either, but the article did bother me. Just because the author is gay also, I don’t feel he should get a pass on something that was discriminatory.

    I’m glad there has been a good response to it, and that prominent people in the industry are discussing it.

  7. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I don’t get this article at all. It’s called ACTING–it’s PRETEND. Why can’t gay people play straight people and vise versa? Why should someone’s sexual orientation figure into their ability to portray a character at all? Actors aren’t hired because of what town they grew up in, what their favorite food is, what music they listen to, etc. Why should who they have in their bed be a factor? Just one example: I knew before “The Importance of Being Earnest” came out that it’s star, Rupert Everett, was gay. I still LOVE that film and think the chemistry between he and Minnie Driver is dead on. I think the idea that gay actors can’t or shouldn’t play straight roles is downright silly.

  8. d says:

    TOTALLY agree scarlett vixen. I’ve been saying the same thing: newsflash: movies aren’t real. Tv shows aren’t real. It’s all pretend! That actor/actress that you like isn’t like that in real life! James Bond isn’t real! etc., etc. The whole premise in that article was so ridiculous … the author has issues.

  9. Oi says:

    Minnie Driver was in “The Importance of being Ernest”? I think you mean Reese Witherspoon. Or a different movie.

    Also don’t get the controversy. It was one man’s opinion that he is paid to give. Like it or leave it. Acting has nothing to do with an actor personally, it all depends on acting ability. There’s no reason to get this upset about it.

  10. Iggles says:

    I agree. This is a ridiculous debate and a shame that a gay writer put out an article that reinforced damaging stereotypes.

    Cynthia is awesome. My favorite couple on SATC is Miranda and Steve!!!! I loved their story on the show. Steve is adorable! And it’s so beautiful how they love each other. (One of my favorite scenes from the show was when Magda saw Miranda giving Steve’s mom a bath and later told her, “You love”. Tears.. 😀 )

    BTW, in a distant second, is Carrie and Aiden (never liked Big!). Still, them hooking up in the movie would be so contrived. If we know ANYTHING about Aiden from the show, it’s that once married he would never cheat! (Which is why we were crushed in Season 5 when Carrie saw him with baby! It was equal to killing him off — because we knew they’d never get back together.) Showing otherwise is character assassination in my mind..

  11. Tia C says:

    I have not read the article in question, but if it’s causing this much controversy I’m surprised that Newsweek even published it. Dumb move on their part. Having said that, I kinda wish Cynthia Nixon would quit whining and STHU about it already. The writer made a dumb comment. Oh well, let’s move on.

  12. lucy2 says:

    Newsweek probably published it because they’re struggling financially, and they knew it would be controversial and get them attention. Here’s the link to it, seeing what he wrote might give more insight as to why Cynthia and many other people were bothered by it.
    As far as I know, this is the only time she’s commented on it.

  13. d says:

    Yes, he’s paid to have an opinion, and in a free world, that opinion can be discussed, and agreed with or disagreed with. That’s what’s going on. And, if you’re going to have an opinion, your credibility hinges on whether or not you can back it up. And he had an predictably inflammatory opinion, so it’s no surprise reacting opinions will be strong. IMO, it’s a sign of a healthy society when people have strong opinions and can voice them and there can be debate. I’d rather live in a society like that, than in one where no one has an opinion ever, and/or one where everyone agrees with each other all the time. And here’s a brain exploder: just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them OR YOU wrong.

  14. GatsbyGal says:

    Cynthia Nixon is definitely a gay actor who can play straight. I didn’t even know she was gay until after I saw the first SATC movie, and I was totally surprised! Because she had tons of hot straight sex scenes in that movie and I believed every second of it. She’s an amazing actress!

    I think it all depends on talent. Obviously a mediocre gay actor isn’t going to be able to portray a straight character very well. Not because he’s gay, but because he’s a bad actor. Just like there are a bad straight actors who could never play a gay character convincingly.

  15. original kate says:

    meh. hack journalism trying to be relevant. does anyone actually take newsweek seriously anymore?

  16. EMV says:


  17. Jeri says:

    Huh!!?? Why is Katie telling the creator what is going on in the movie? Does she know more about it than him?

  18. notgaga says:

    @Tia C: As far as I can tell, this is the only comment she’s made and it was in response to a direct question. How is this “whining”? It is an offensive article and will just encourage people to stay in the closet–but perhaps that’s what you would prefer, that gays and lesbians just STHU?

  19. Zoe says:

    I really can’t understand people who marginalize hate and say ‘it’s not something to get upset about’. I’m seriously glad I don’t know some internet posters.

  20. Scarlet Vixen says:


    You’re right: Reese Witherspoon was paired with Rupert Everett in ‘Importance.’I was thinking of ‘An Ideal Husband,’ which had Minnie Driver. 🙂

  21. Tia C says:

    @notgaga: Wow, that’s quite an assumption. You don’t even know whether I’m gay or not. I’ve just seen this same story all over the net for the last week or so about her complaining about this article, and it seemed kinda whiny to me to be going on and on about it. It was a stupid comment made by someone who was being thoughtless. OK, the author has been called out – time to move on. That’s all.

  22. flutters says:

    Setoodeh’s Newsweek article was terribly argued and his post-backlash spin isn’t supported by the actual text. The unfortunate thing is he’s being rewarded for his thoughtlessness with access to the Glee casting process and a lot of attention. I get the importance of education but this still has the feel of rewarding somebody for being ignorant.

  23. GreenGinger says:

    @Tia C: For someone who admits to not having read the article, that’s a pretty STRONG opinion you’re voicing.

    @Zoe: I couldn’t agree with you more.

  24. Lindsay says:

    Jeri- only if knowing more means she has seen the trailer and saw Aiden in it and had an opinion on the possibility of Carrie straying with him (she doesn’t want her to).

  25. JoGirl says:

    IMO it’s the very fact that the writer is gay, and that the story was published in Newsweek, that makes it so upsetting. If whacky Glenn Beck or even, say, Howard Stern were saying these things, it wouldn’t be considered a big deal. As a gay man, Ramin Setoodeh has truly turned against his own, which makes him something like the Michael Steele of gay people.

  26. Karat says:

    …late to the “party”… but had to add, Cary Grant. If a gay man can’t play a straight one, seems odd this guy was such a huge success. 🙂