Do we need the “openly gay” label? When it specifically comes to him, Andrew Scott says no.
The Sherlock, Hamlet, and Fleabag actor from Ireland recently told British GQ Magazine that he’s tired of hearing the label attached to his name.
“You’re never described as openly gay at a party,” he told the magazine.
“‘This is my openly gay friend Darren’… [or] ‘She’s openly Irish’,” he added before saying, “Sexuality isn’t something you can cultivate, particularly. It isn’t a talent. You believe the relationship, that’s my job.”
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This is a sentiment that Scott touched on back in March of this year. The UK actor shared that he believes that sexuality should not be a factor when casting actors. As such, not only should straight actors be allowed to play gay but gay actors should be allowed to play straight.
“People respond to good work, that’s what they want,” Andrew said. “They want an authorial voice, whether that’s a man or a woman who’s gay or straight or black or white or whatever it is, they just want someone to be authentic.
He also added, “I think it’s dangerous territory to go down. Sometimes to think that we’re only allowed to play our own–not just our own sexuality, but our own nationality or identity–that we’re only allowed to… represent things that are within our experience. That’s not what audiences go to see.”
It is true that the label “openly gay” can be stifling at times. And its use certainly loses meaning in a field where more LGBTQ people are coming out by the day. It seems like the use of “openly gay” is more useful in spaces like the football league or the other football league (if you catch my drift), as there are still very few out professional players in either. But there are continuously more out actors in the entertainment world.
Despite all that, we hear and respect Andrew Scott’s wishes. The label “openly gay” is not for him, and that’s perfectly fine.
Sources: British GQ