Openly gay singer-songwriter Adam Lambert has weighed in on the controversial authentic casting debate.
On 18 January, the Grammy-nominated artist made headlines after he criticised the idea of White Lotus’ Theo James playing LGBTQ+ icon George Michael.
“Yay, another straight man playing a gay icon,” he wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post (per Pop Crave).
Shortly after uploading his post, pop culture enthusiasts flocked to social media to argue over the controversial gay casting debate while questioning the need for a George Michael biopic.
Drag Race star Marcia Marcia Marcia seemingly supported Lambert, writing: “Seeing a lot of negativity toward Adam Lambert in the responses to this [Pop Crave] post,” she tweeted.
“Queer actors are constantly rejected for their queerness while their cishet counterparts are praised for being “brave” for accepting queer roles. Queer people should get to tell their own stories.”
After remaining mum on the topic for a few days, Lambert gave further insight into his casting opinions during a recent interview with Variety.
“My actual comment – my little sarcastic comment on it – was [about] a straight actor playing a gay icon, which I think is a bit different,” he said while attending the Sundance Film Festival.
“I by no means think gay characters should only be played by gay actors. I think that would be ridiculous.”
Adam Lambert says it’s “ridiculous” to claim that gay characters can only be played by gay actors, but straight actors playing “gay icons” is a different story. https://t.co/vid4Pu4xgu pic.twitter.com/mG0TZ5Dg3U
— Variety (@Variety) January 20, 2023
While Lambert is open to straight actors playing gay characters, he also expressed his hope that queer actors will be able to “tackle” more leading roles.
“I just think, as a queer person, so many doors have been closed to us for so long, it’s a big step forward that these stories are at least now being told, but I hope that in the future, you would also see an out actor be able to tackle a leading role,” he said.
“To the naysayers who are like, ‘oh, it’s acting,’ what about the other way around, are you saying that gay actors should only play gay [roles]?
“I just want some equal opportunity that’s all.”
Lambert joins an array of actors, producers and directors who have shared their opinions regarding the authentic casting topic.
Back in November, Luke Evans expressed conflicting opinions on the matter during his interview with The Telegraph.
“I’m not sure about that. Gay people have definitely missed out on gay roles, for sure. Russell spoke very powerfully, passionately, about this point. I get it, and I totally think that things do need to change,” he said.
“But from my perspective, firstly, I wouldn’t have had a career if gay people played gay roles and straight people played straight roles.”