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Billy Eichner Responds To Aaron Sorkin’s Comments About Straight Actors Playing Queer Characters

Over the past few years, there’s been a ton of conversations revolving around representation in the film industry. In addition to the call for more diversity on and off screen, some have advocated that more LGBT+ character should be played by queer actors. Aaron Sorkin recently went viral when speaking against this concept, leading Billy Eichner to respond. And he definitely didn’t hold back.

LGBT+ representation is clearly an issue Billy Eichner feels strongly about, with his new movie Bros making history for being made up of an entirely queer cast. So when the legendary Aaron Sorkin came out against the concept of gay characters being played exclusively by LGBT actors, Eichner also made his voice known. The Billy on the Street host posted on social media that Sorkin was:

Completely ignorant of how Hollywood has treated its openly LGBTQ+ actors for a century. Talking about shit he doesn’t fully comprehend. Scared that Hollywood isn’t (entirely) ruled by straight men anymore. Go write yourself a ‘walk and talk’ back into the past. Merry Christmas!

Well, that certainly was honest. Billy Eichner is not holding back when addressing Aaron Sorkin’s viral comments about LGBT representation. Luckily he’s able to make a difference in this regard thanks to his own upcoming projects.

Billy Eichner responded to Aaron Sorkin over on his personal Twitter account, with the tweet in question getting thousands of likes. Because while acting is all about stepping into someone else’s shoes, the film industry has a history of shutting out openly queer actors. And as such, he seems to think that Sorkin's point of view is a bit tone deaf.

For those unfamiliar, Aaron Sorkin recently offered his thoughts about representation while doing press for his latest movie, Being the Ricardos. The subject was broached at least partly due to conversations surrounding Javier Bardem’s role as Desi Arnaz. Arnaz was Cuban, Bardem’s family is from Spain. Sorkin’s comments read:

You can act being attracted to someone, but can’t act gay or straight. So this notion that only gay actors should play gay characters? That only a Cuban actor should play Desi? Honestly, I think it’s the mother of all empty gestures and a bad idea.

Clearly the discourse surrounding representation in the media is going to continue for the foreseeable future. Because while more queer stories are being told, there’s been some backlash to straight actors taking roles that otherwise could have been played by LGBT+ folks. A recent example of this would be James Corden’s role in the movie musical The Prom, which some people found offensive and stereotypical. 

Billy Eichner’s Bros is currently expected to arrive in theaters on August 12th, 2022. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. Or go watch Being the Ricardos – now available on Prime Video

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.