Aaron Sorkin hits out at 'empty gesture' of gay actors in gay roles

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  • Javier Bardem
    Javier Bardem
    Spanish actor
Aaron Sorkin has defended criticism of Javier Bardem casting credit:Bang Showbiz
Aaron Sorkin has defended criticism of Javier Bardem casting credit:Bang Showbiz

Aaron Sorkin thinks only casting gay actors as gay characters is an "empty gesture" and a "bad idea".

The 60-year-old filmmaker has slammed criticism of Spanish actor Javier Bardem being cast as Cuban Desi Arnaz in his new movie 'Being the Ricardos' and insisted the segregation happening in the industry is "a little chilling" because there are certain elements of a character that are just "not actable".

He said: "It’s heartbreaking, and a little chilling to see members of the artistic community resegregating ourselves.

“This should be the last place there are walls. Spanish and Cuban are not actable.

"If I was directing you in a scene and said: ‘It’s cold, you can’t feel your face.’ That’s actable. But if I said: ‘Be Cuban.’ That is not actable.

"Nouns aren’t actable. Gay and straight aren’t actable. You can act being attracted to someone, but can’t act gay or straight. So this notion that only gay actors should play gay characters? That only a Cuban actor should play Desi? Honestly, I think it’s the mother of all empty gestures and a bad idea.”

Aaron admitted he sees similarities between how Lucille Ball - who is played by Nicole Kidman in 'Being the Ricardos' - was treated for her views in the 1950s and the modern cancel culture.

He told Sunday Times Culture magazine: “In the movie, Lucille checked a box [backing communism] at a time when it wasn’t a big deal. Sixteen years later, the world changed and she’s hung for it. That reminds you of Twitter.”

The 'West Wing' showrunner admitted he didn't think Gina Carano should have been fired from the 'Star Wars' franchise after expressing doubt about coronavirus and also being accused of being transphobic, but is aware of wider issues that could have contributed to her dismissal.

He said: “I could rebut some things she said, but I don’t think she should lose her job because of it.

“On the other hand, if they’re losing advertisers because she’s on the show, that’s different. That’s life in a democracy. Also, it’s different if you spread misinformation about vaccines, for instance. Or incite violence. But we’re going to have to start to be OK with having our feelings hurt once in a while.”

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