Fans Wish Eric Stonestreet Was as Gay as His TV Alter Ego (VIDEO)

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
Oct. 15 2013 1:33 PM

Fans Find Straight Actor Disappointingly Un-Flamboyant

Eric Stonestreet with his Modern Family co-star Sofía Vergara
Eric Stonestreet with his Modern Family co-star Sofía Vergara

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for FOX

The tired old debate about whether gay actors can convincingly play straight characters comes around more frequently than military-inspired fashion collections. In 2010, Newsweek’s Ramin Setoodeh declared that out actors like Sean Hayes and Jonathan Groff were too obviously homosexual to persuade audiences that they were hot for their female co-stars. Then last year, Bret Easton Ellis turned casting director for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie when he tweeted that “Matt Bomer isn't right for Christian Grey because he is openly gay.”

Last night on The Arsenio Hall Show, Eric Stonestreet, who plays Modern Family’s queeny Cam, talked about the other side of that coin: What it’s like to be a straight actor in a flamboyantly gay role. Mostly, it seems, it’s a little dispiriting. When people meet Stonestreet, they’re disappointed that he doesn’t have the sass and the high-pitched squeal of his TV alter ego.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

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