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Jonathan Bailey Blasts 'Tedious & Archaic' Notion That Playing Gay Hurts Actors

Jonathan Bailey Blasts 'Tedious & Archaic' Notion That Playing Gay Hurts Actors

Jonathan Bailey
Showtime

Even in 2023, the Bridgerton and Fellow Travelers actor is still fighting back against prejudice within Hollywood.

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Jonathan Bailey is one of this year’s Out100 honorees, which were announced today by Out.

In 2020, Bailey became a household name with his breakout role on Netflix’s Bridgerton. He plays Lord Anthony Bridgerton, who is a straight character, in the series. Since then, Bailey was cast as Fiyero in the two Wicked movies and is starring as Tim Laughlin on the Fellow Travelers limited series, which premieres October 27 on Showtime.

When analyzing all the high-profile characters that Bailey has been playing on-screen, only one of them ­– Fellow Travelers’ Tim – is a queer man. And yet, it seems like the actor is still facing a lot of pushback from Hollywood peers and execs when it comes to playing gay characters.

In his profile for the Out100, Bailey said that the biggest obstacle he’s faced this year is still the “endless, tedious, and archaic commentary that playing gay can capsize a man’s career.”

Bailey has already proven that gay actors can convincingly play straight characters – dismantling a ridiculous myth that Hollywood pundits have pushed in the past. Moreover, playing gay characters on stage and screen didn’t hurt his career. Viewers are still in love with his character on Bridgerton, and he’s been cast as the ultimate straight heartthrob in the upcoming Wicked movies featuring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo.

It’s wonderful to see Bailey fighting back against these prejudices and wrong assumptions, but it’s also rather disappointing to see that he’s still facing these obstacles in 2023. While we hope that Bailey’s career is encouraging to up-and-coming LGBTQ+ actors, we also need systemic change when it comes to the people at the very top of Hollywood.

We love Jonathan Bailey and can’t wait to watch him in Fellow Travelers and Wicked!

Fellow Travelers premieres October 27 on Showtime.

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Bernardo Sim

Editor

Bernardo Sim is experiencing the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is experiencing the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.