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Just When I Thought Ramin Setoodeh Couldn’t Make Things Worse…

He offers us “Out of Focus,” his lame defense of last month’s “Straight Jacket” article, which is almost more infuriating than the original article.

According to Mr. Setoodeh, the backlash all boils down to this: the Interwebz misinterpreted him.  : (

I call shenanigans.  Because now, not only have you insulted my intelligence as an audience member, Mr. Setoodeh, you’ve also insulted my reading comprehension skills.  No way, no how.

You were not misinterpreted, Mr. Setoodeh, and if you were misinterpreted, that is not the fault of the internet, or of your readers.  It is your fault.  Because this article that you supposedly intended to spark a healthy debate of a societal injustice didn’t present that point of view at all.  Sorry, tacking a sentence to the end of your article about how you think coming out would ruin even George Clooney’s career does not now make this a commentary on society, or an honest debate.  Because you spent the previous 856 words shamelessly bashing specific actors and specific performances they gave.

You didn’t set the article up as a question about why society might view gay actors as somehow less capable of effectively doing their jobs.  In fact, you hardly spent any time at all inspecting the societal influences which potentially impact audience interpretation of an actor’s performance, or railing against them.

After reading your article I was so angry because it was trafficking in the very stereotypes that gay actors must feel pressing against them every single day.  And that’s not because I can’t read—and read I did, every single word of that article, several times over—or because the internet somehow robbed your article of nuance.  That entire article was focused on presenting support for the very arguments society should be railing against, and it did so with the Newsweek name flying across the top of its homophobic banner.

Take responsibility for your words, Mr. Setoodeh.  Don’t blame the internet for oversimplifying your argument.  Don’t blame my reading comprehension skills, either.  It was your words which failed to make your point, and in doing so, became insulting to both the actors you profiled and the readers who consider themselves part of a more enlightened audience, who, to quote Lucky, are able to “value a performance as a performance, and a person as a person.”

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