Here’s Why Darren Criss Won’t Be Playing Gay Roles Anymore
Darren Criss is best known for playing the singing Blaine Anderson in Glee and murderous Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Though the two characters couldn't be any more different, they do have one thing in common: They're both openly gay.
During a recent interview with Bustle, the actor/singer-songwriter announced that he was no longer going to play gay roles. And for a good reason.
"There are certain [queer] roles that I'll see that are just wonderful," Criss gushed to the outlet. "But I want to make sure I won't be another straight boy taking a gay man’s role."
Though the 31-year-old said it's "been a real joy" playing queer characters—he also starred as Hedwig in the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch—he no longer feels comfortable taking those roles, which he admitted was "unfortunate."
"The reason I say that is because getting to play those characters is inherently a wonderful dramatic experience," he explained. "It has made for very, very compelling and interesting people."
But the fact of the matter is the LGBTQ+ community has continually been underrepresented in Hollywood, and Criss doesn't want to be part of the problem anymore. The 2018 annual GLAAD “Where We Are on TV” report found that out of 857 primetime scripted programming series regular characters on the five broadcast networks (CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, and The CW), just 75 were LGBTQ+. The worst part? This marked the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ characters ever recorded in the 14 years that GLAAD has released the report.
Statistics aside, Criss believes there's an extra honesty to actors who play characters in which they identify. "The commitment to that drama is told in such a way that it can really effectively reach people’s lives," he said. "I think that really is important."
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