Straight actors should not play gay characters, says one of Britain’s leading writer/producers.
Russell T Davies (pictured), a prolific and successful screenwriter whose credits include Queer As Folk and the revival of the children’s sci-fi series Doctor Who, has told the Radio Times:
‘You wouldn’t cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair, you wouldn’t black someone up. Authenticity is leading us to joyous places.’
Clearly this is an excellent way of generating headlines, especially when you have a new gay TV series to promote — Davies’s latest is called It’s A Sin. But is his statement actually true?
He’s certainly right about ‘blacking up.’ Gone are the days when a white thespian stalwart would dye his skin to play outside his race, as Alec Guinness did in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) when he played the Arab leader Prince Faisal.
It’s probably also the case in the increasingly woke