Andrew Garfield has fired back and shared his thoughts to all the backlash he’s getting for his “I’m a gay man without the physical act” line.
Andrew Garfield made the comment as a part of a bigger answer at a panel for his current play “Angels in America.”
In the London production, Garfield plays Prior Walter.
Garfield started by joking about the fact that he wasn't gay, but then said that he was worried about playing a gay character.
“I may have an awakening later in my life, which would be wonderful and I’ll can explore that area of the garden, but right now I’m secluded to my area, which is wonderful as well. I adore it, but a big concern was what right do I have to play this wonderful, seminal gay part?”
But still, he wanted to represent the role well. He went to drag work shops, studied historical figures, read a lot of texts, watched movies, and marathoned RuPaul’s Drag Race with friends.
"I mean every single series of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I mean every series.”
“My only time off during rehearsals – every Sunday I would have eight friends over and we would just watch Ru. This is my life outside of this play. I am a gay man right now just without the physical act – that’s all.”
Like with many situations, there are many people at fault for this entire mess.
Casting a straight man for a gay role is questionable (though maybe not entirely wrong).
The "gay without physical act line," was a stupid joke for Garfield to make, but it wasn't a big issue.
And, the reporters latching onto the "I'm gay without physical act" line without giving full context to the situation is just wrong too.
Plus, there were the readers who read only the title and then assumed they knew the whole story or didn't try to understand Garfield's wording. Next thing you know, the actor is getting critized all over the internet with people thinking he's saying he is gay or that watching RuPaul is what all gay men do.
To offset this, Garfield recently talked to BBC’s Newsbeat to defend himself and say that news sites were missing the point of what he said and twisting his words to fit their sensationalism.
“That’s of course not what I meant at all."
“That discussion was about this play and how deeply grateful I am that I get to work on something so profound.
“It’s a love letter to the LGBTQ community. We were talking about, ‘How do you prepare for something so important and so big?’ and I was basically saying, ‘I dive in as fully as I possibly can.'”
“My only longing is to serve and to keep the world spinning forward for the LGBTQ community in whatever way I’m meant to.”
“It’s important to a community that I feel so welcomed by.”
“The intention [in my comments] was to speak to that, speak to my desire to play this part to the best of my ability and to fully immerse myself in a culture that I adore.”
While Garfield is right about this, he also needs to consider the fact that he has some fault in the situation too.
But ultimately, he just made stupid joke. Its the internet that over-reacted.
After all, the character Prior Walter is a gay man who lives in the drag community and in the play he interacts with his best friend Belize who is a drag queen. Garfield tried his hardest to prepare for the role and to properly represent it.
What do you think? Do you think Garfield was the victim of clickbait? Do you think people are right to be mad at him? Or, do you want to just move on? Lets us know down in the comments below.
Update (7/16/2017): It is to be made expressively clear that the writer of this article is whole-heartedly on the side of Andrew Garfield and agrees that new sites twisted his words. Some readers seem to be misconstruing this fact.