Dozens of straight male actors have played gay characters on TV and in movies without getting struck down by lightning or swept up in a plague that God wrought.
Yet one of the stars of Tropic Thunder says he was punished by God for taking the role of Alpa Chino, a closeted gay rapper in the controversial comedy flick. Kevin Hart reportedly turned the role down because he thought the character was "real flagrant."
But instead, Brandon T. Jackson signed on to play Chino, a decision for which he's repented. "I was on thin ice then with the Father," Jackson told TMZ Live. "But, he had mercy and his grace was there."
Jackson also starred alongside Martin Lawrence in Big Momma's House: Like Father, Like Son, the third edition of the film where Lawrence plays an FBI agent who goes undercover in drag as a Black grandmother. In the 2011 sequel, Jackson portrays the title character's stepson, who witnesses a crime that forces him to go undercover also... in drag.
Jackson, a devout Black Hebrew Israelite, said he broke religious doctrine that prohibits men from wearing femme clothing. After his role in Big Momma's House, he says nothing went right in his professional and personal lives, a fate he believes God inflicted upon him.
"When you break a law you get punished," Jackson said, citing the Old Testament Bible verse Deuteronomy 22:5, which says that a man who puts on a woman's garment is an abomination before God, and vice versa. "If you don't follow all the commandments that the Torah says to do, you'll be cursed."
According to Jackson, there may be exceptions for other Hollywood heavyweights. The rules are different, he said, if someone who plays a gay character or dresses in drag has another "power source" that's not tied to a "bloodline covenant" that the Black Hebrew Israelites have with God.
"It may work for Tyler Perry ... It didn't work for me," Jackson said.
Say what you will about how fraught both character portrayals are, Jackson's comments are out of touch with reality for many straight actors who have taken on roles involving queer characters or drag performances. Darren Criss, for example, doesn't seem to have suffered after his leading role in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. However, Criss, who took home a Golden Globe and an Emmy, has vowed not to play another gay character as to not take up space from gay actors who can parlay their personal experiences instead.
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