Alan Cumming explains why his gay character on Instinct is so groundbreaking

“It’s the first time on a network drama that there’s been a gay character in the leading role.”

Earlier this year, Alan Cumming became the first actor to play a leading gay character on an hour-long U.S network drama, for his role in the upcoming crime/procedural series, Instinct.

One week ahead of its premiere, the Scottish-American actor has explained why the character is so groundbreaking.

During an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he told the host: “It’s the first time on a network drama that there’s been a gay character in the leading role.”

Cumming said the character’s sexuality isn’t a defining feature: “It’s like the fourth or fifth thing of the characteristics of this person, is that he’s gay and married and a happy solid marriage.

“And actually, what I think is really amazing is that most of the time, especially on network TV when someone is gay, when there’s a gay character it’s like, ‘they’re gay gay gay’ and it’s all about their sexuality and usually in a negative way.

“But the fact that this has a character whose gayness is way down the list of things that are most important about him is a positive thing, and also the fact that when you do see his same-sex life it’s in a really positive way, and that’s two things I don’t think are represented enough in this country.”

Based on James Patterson’s novel Murder Games, the series will follow Cumming as Dr Dylan Reinhart, a former CIA agent turned professor/author who returns to law enforcement to help apprehend a serial killer.

Instinct premieres 18 March on CBS, and also stars Sharon Leal, Bojana Novakovic, Naveen Andrews, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Watch the trailer below.

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