Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Guardian: Let's Have An Unheated Debate!

From the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, primetime American television audiences grew to embrace two male characters who would come to define two distinct types of gay male characters. The sensitive Will Truman and the flamboyant Jack McFarland, portrayed by actors Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes, became the backbone of the hugely popular sitcom Will & Grace. It was the first time two such characters regularly took the stage in primetime television.

In the years since, the advent of reality television (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) and the diversity of cable programming (Queer as Folk) provided more diverse representations of LGBT lifestyles. But now gay characters and personalities have moved from niche to mainstream in shows like Modern Family or HBO’s Looking. Gayness* is now less of a reason for having a character, and has instead become just another plot twist or character nuance.

But it doesn’t mean all the work is over. We’ve invited three critics to discuss the evolution of LGBT characters in pop culture – and to identify cultural blind spots where producers, writers and actors still need to put in work. Answers have been edited for length...

By golly, this is dull - and that's even if you ignore the inane witterings of the spectacularly thick Nancy Goldstein.

PS The premise for this is shamelessly nicked off this rather good article by Nico Lang. Though they seem to have totally misunderstood his points.

* 'Gayness'???!! What is this 'gayness' of which you speak?

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