Bad news for fans of Prison Break: Wentworth Miller has said he’s finished with the show – and with playing a straight man.
The 48-year-old, who played Michael Scofield in the hit series, is only interested in playing gay roles going forward.
“I’m out. Of PB. Officially,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “Not (because) of static on social media (although that has centred the issue). I just don't want to play straight characters. Their stories have been told (and told). So. No more Michael. If you were a fan of the show, hoping for additional seasons... I understand this is disappointing. I’m sorry.”
He played Michael, the show’s lead character, from 2005 to 2009, and reprised the role in 2017 after Fox revived the series.
Many of his followers showed their support in the posts’ comments section. “We’re here to support you always, love you,” @alejanndraarc wrote while many others added heart emojis.
Michael, who officially came out as gay in 2013, said he’d been receiving homophobic comments on Instagram which had prompted him to speak out.
“I won’t be disappearing (too many cool things to repost). The ability to comment likely will.
“I’m not concerned for myself. I can’t be ‘bullied’ in this space. I have too much power. ‘Delete. Block. Deactivate.’ Etc. But I take seriously the possibility of queer kids visiting here, recently out of the closet or exploring the idea . . . I don’t want them exposed to bullsh*t.”
The issue of gay actors playing straight roles and vice versa has become a heated topic in Hollywood recently.
Oscar-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen says he’s preparing for criticism of his decision – as a straight man – to cast a gay character in his directorial debut, Falling.
“I apologise to all the proctologists for casting David Cronenberg,” the 62-year-old said of the Canadian director who plays a colorectal surgeon.
Viggo, best known for playing Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, said he was joking, but wanted to make the point that actors are actors – simply playing a role whether a gay man or a proctologist.
Several high-profile actors have come under fire for playing LGBTQ characters.
Earlier this year Halle Berry dropped out of a transgender film following criticism from activists.
In an apology, the Oscar-winner wrote, “As a cisgender [a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex] woman, I now understand I shouldn’t have considered this role, and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories.”
In 2018 Scarlett Johansson pulled out of the film Rub & Tug in which she was to play a transgender man after the LGBTQ community complained. It went on to become a TV series with a trans writer and lead actor.
Sources: usatoday.com, reuters, chicagotribune.com