Billy Eichner roasts ‘completely ignorant’ director Aaron Sorkin over LGBT+ comments

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  • Billy Eichner
    Billy Eichner
    American comedian and actor
  • Aaron Sorkin
    Aaron Sorkin
    American screenwriter

Billy Eichner has slammed Aaron Sorkin for his “completely ignorant” comments on LGBT+ actors being cast in LGBT+ roles.

Sorkin, a filmmaker, screenwriter and 60-year-old straight man who wrote the 2010 film The Social Network, waded into the debate in response to criticism of his new film Being the Ricardos.

The film, which follows the iconic I Love Lucy duo, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, was criticised after casting Javier Bardem as Arnaz. The casting of Bardem, who is Spanish, as the Cuban actor Arnaz sparked outrage among some I Love Lucy fans, who insisted the role should go to a Latin American actor.

Hitting back at the criticism, Sorkin told the Sunday Times Culture magazine: “If I was directing you in a scene and said: ‘It’s cold, you can’t feel your face’. That’s actable. But if I said: ‘Be Cuban’. That is not actable.

“Nouns aren’t actable. Gay and straight aren’t actable. 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.”

Eichner took to Twitter to roast Sorkin, describing him as “completely ignorant of how Hollywood has treated its openly LGBTQ+ actors for a century”.

He added: Talking about s**t 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!”

Billy Eichner has written a gay rom-com with a completely LGBT+ main cast

Billy Eichner joins many actors and members of the LGBT+ community in arguing that queer actors should be cast in queer roles, in light of both historic and current discrimination.

Eichner’s upcoming film Bros, which he wrote and stars in, is not only the first gay rom-com from a major Hollywood studio, but will also have main cast made up entirely of LGBT+ actors.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Eichner said: “I could not be more proud or excited about the historic nature of the all openly LGBTQ+ cast of Bros.

“After queer actors have spent decades watching straight actors capitalise both artistically and professionally by playing LGBTQ+ characters, it is a long overdue dream come true to be able to assemble this remarkable, hilarious cast.”

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