Finally, Newsweek is getting noticed for something other than being yet another money-losing publication on the block.
The creator of Fox’s wildly popular comedy series “Glee” is calling for a boycott of the magazine.
It’s because of Ramin Setoodeh, one of the writers we included on our list of “10 Newsweek Staffers Who Will Help Save The Magazine.” Ramin did his job: He wrote the type of article people want to read.
Here’s what happened.
Setoodeh, who is gay, published a provocative piece arguing that homosexual actors can’t play straight people, even though it works the other way around: “While it’s OK for straight actors to play gay (as Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger did in Brokeback Mountain), it’s rare for someone to pull off the trick in reverse.”
One such example Setoodah cites in the piece is Jonathan Groff, the openly gay Broadway star who plays Jesse St. James on “Glee.” (“When he smiles or giggles, he seems more like your average theatre queen.”)
On Tuesday, Murphy issued an open letter calling for a boycott of Newsweek, which you can read in full at Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch blog:
What is the most shocking of all is that Newsweek went ahead and published such a blatantly homophobic article in the first place … Today, I have asked GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios to stand with me and others and ask for an immediate boycott of Newsweek magazine until an apology is issued to Sean Hayes and other brave out actors who were cruelly singled out in this damaging, needlessly cruel, and mind-blowingly bigoted piece.
Well done, Newsweek!
Regardless of whether you agree with it, Setoodah’s piece has generated an enormous amount of buzz.
Also, we’d imagine, an enormous amount of traffic for Newsweek.com. (A Newsweek spokeswoman didn’t know offhand how many hits the piece had gotten so far, but based on the uproar surrounding it, we’d imagine it could be one of the most-read articles on the site at the moment.)
Not that it’s all about the clicks, but it’s these types of pieces—compelling, controversial, conversation-starting—that help publications (whether you read them on paper or on the Internet) stay relevant. Which is especially important for publications that are trying to stay relevant.
And no, we don’t believe that some latent homophobic agenda led Setoodah to write it.
As for how Setoodah feels about all of this, he explains in a rebuttal on Newsweek.com:
The point of my essay was not to disparage my own community, but to examine an issue that is being swept under the rug…
…I was hoping to start a dialogue that would be thoughtful—not to become a target for people who twisted my words.
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