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Billy Eichner Shuts Down Aaron Sorkin's 'Ignorant' Gay Casting Comment

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Aaron Sorkin made some controversial statements recently about LGBTQ+ roles being played by LGBTQ+ actors, and Billy Eichner is not having any of it.

The filmmaker and screenwriter weighed in on his decision to cast Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz, responding to recent criticism of his new film Being the Ricardos. The feature follows I Love Lucy duo Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball (played by Nicole Kidman), and though the film has been garnering fair reviews, Bardem was criticized for being cast as the late Cuban-American actor even though he is Spanish, not Latin American.

Sorkin defended his choice, telling The Sunday Times' culture desk that to "be Cuban" is "not actable."

"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," he said. "Nouns aren’t actable. Gay and straight aren’t actable. You can act as being attracted to someone, but can’t act gay or straight."

He didn’t stop there.

"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," Sorkin claimed.

And Eichner wasted no time in responding to the "completely ignorant" comments.  

"Talking about shit he doesn’t fully comprehend," the out writer and actor wrote on Twitter. "Scared that Hollywood isn’t (entirely) ruled by straight men anymore."

Referencing Sorkin’s notable "walk and talks" from The West Wing, Eichner wrote, "Go write yourself a 'walk and talk' back into the past."

The conversation about queer actors getting a fair shot at roles that are always usually offered to their straight counterparts is an ongoing one, and Eichner is familiar with the subject! 

He is set to make history next year with his upcoming romantic-comedy film Bros, which is billed as the first gay rom-com from a major studio (Universal) and features an all-LGBTQ+ cast

RELATED | Being the Ricardos Cast Talks the Comedic Genius of Icon Lucille Ball

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