Conservative commentator Andrew Pierce has defended straight actors playing gay characters by praising Sean Penn for his role as “Harvey Moon” in Milk.
No, that’s not a typo – he actually referred to the trailblazing gay politician Harvey Milk, who the film is named after (it’s literally called Milk) as Harvey Moon.
Writing on Twitter, the Daily Mail hack hit out at Russell T Davies, who said in a Radio Times interview on Monday (11 January) that he picked queer actors for his new AIDS drama It’s a Sin because they would bring an “authenticity” to the series.
“Russell T Davies is wrong, to say only gay actors should play gay roles,” Pierce wrote.
“Sean Penn won the Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of gay activist Harvey Moon in Milk,” he added.
People were quick to point out that his name was Harvey Milk, not Moon
Needless to say, people were confused, and many took the time to artfully mock Pierce for his blunder.
I haven’t seen the film so I’m just going to assume Harvey Moon was a campaigner for equality in the dairy industry. https://t.co/XsQX9LC68b
— James Chalmers (@ProfChalmers) January 12, 2021
Others took the time to correct Pierce, rightly pointing out that the main character in Milk is, in fact, Alfie Moon.
Get your facts straight: the film was called MOON and it starred Sam Rockwell in the titular role https://t.co/w4uD5KcVgH
— Rory horne (@rorhor) January 12, 2021
Meanwhile, plenty of people were just annoyed – and we can’t blame them one little bit.
Ah yes, Milk. That famous film about Harvey Moon. pic.twitter.com/76z050MUor
— Ian Rennie (@theangelremiel) January 12, 2021
His..his name is the title of the film https://t.co/ZHPFV505K9
— Murray McCann (@MurrayMcCann) January 12, 2021
Harvey Moon? Is this a parody account? His name is in the films title 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/lD0WXZ60NM
— Paul (@ACovenOfWitches) January 12, 2021
Why do you think the film was called Milk, Andrew? I'm intrigued.
— Hello, this is Ivan (@hellothisisivan) January 12, 2021
But the replies weren’t all fun and games – countless straight people also waded into the conversation, deciding that they are the authority on the subject. Many agreed with Pierce’s point, blithely declaring that “acting is acting”, while one Twitter user even suggested that Davies was breaching the Equality Act by casting gay people in gay roles.
Some straight people also waded into the replies to parrot what Piers Morgan said on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday (12 January), where he defended straight actors playing gay roles by praising Tom Hanks’ performance in Philadelphia.
Yes, straight people – we get it, you all love Philadelphia – it’s a good film. But Davies is also completely within his rights to cast gay actors in gay roles if he thinks they’re the best people for his new series.
Davies stoked the fury of straight people everywhere on Monday (11 January) when he told Radio Times that “authenticity” is key when casting gay roles.
He said: “I’m not being woke about this… but I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, I am casting them to act as a lover, or an enemy, or someone on drugs or a criminal or a saint… they are not there to ‘act gay’ because ‘acting gay’ is a bunch of codes for a performance.
“It’s about authenticity, the taste of 2020.”
He added: “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.”
Davies’ comments sent straight people into a tailspin, with many deciding to share their thoughts on social media.