Gus Kenworthy Responds To ‘American Horror Story’ Critics Who Say He Can’t Play Straight


Gus Kenworthy strikes from the slopes to the small display this fall as one of many stars of “American Horror Story: 1984,” enjoying Chet Clancy, the hunky, fitness-obsessed love curiosity of Emma Roberts’ Brooke Thompson. 

The Olympic freeskier has tried his hand at appearing earlier than, having appeared in an episode of ABC’s “The Real O’Neals” and in a memorable cameo of “Sharknado 5: Global Warming.” His “AHS” function, nonetheless, has already drawn a fair proportion of scrutiny, with some taking intention at his thespian abilities even earlier than they’ve seen a single episode. 

In an ESPN essay, Kenworthy addresses his critics, notably those that have questioned whether or not he can convincingly play a straight character. 

“When Ryan [Murphy] announced he’d hired me to play Emma’s boyfriend, he and I both received a lot of negative comments online,” wrote Kenworthy, who got here out as homosexual in a 2015 ESPN interview. “Some people wanted to know how I was cast as a straight man or if I could play straight. Is that even a question? I spent the first 23 years of my life playing a straight man.”

“Every gay man has the experience at some point in his life of pretending to be someone he’s not,” he continued. “I knew as a teenager that I was gay, yet I was still sleeping with girls, pretending to be straight, playing this persona I thought I needed to be for my sport. The stakes were so high. I remember going to crazy lengths to make people believe I was someone I was not. That’s acting.”

Lately, audiences have begun pushing again towards actors who aren’t a part of the LGBTQ neighborhood enjoying queer characters on display. Final 12 months, Scarlett Johansson dropped out of the upcoming movie “Rub and Tug,” a couple of transgender therapeutic massage parlor proprietor, after her casting was extensively criticized. 

After successful an Emmy for taking part in homosexual serial killer Andrew Cunanan in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” Darren Criss vowed to not play queer characters in an effort to create space for LGBTQ actors within the trade. 

On the flip aspect, Kenworthy stated he believes “it’s much more OK for a gay man to play a straight role than vice versa.”

“Most shows are about straight people and straight lives and straight dynamics, and if there is a gay character on the show, it’s usually a sidekick,” he wrote. “Allowing a gay person to play that character does a lot in terms of visibility and breaking down perceptions and stereotypes. … There aren’t many openly gay actors getting cast in straight parts. But that is changing, and I am lucky to have the opportunity to be part of that change.”

Like many Murphy-produced exhibits, “American Horror Story” has boasted a queer-inclusive solid throughout all 9 of its seasons. Along with Kenworthy, “1984” stars Angelica Ross, who’s transgender. 

Actors Chaz Bono, Billy Eichner and Cheyenne Jackson have starred in different installments of the horror anthology sequence, the ninth season of which premiered Wednesday on FX.  

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