Wentworth Miller continues to talk about well-written queer representation in media and the importance of queer talent sharing their perspective.
Wentworth Miller has been using his Instagram account to deliver some insights about his career as a queer actor and his hopes when it comes to changing queer representation in media for the better.
From what I can tell, the current discussion began when Miller said he had decided not to return as the straight lead character, Michael Scofield, in the popular series Prison Break. He wrote in an Instagram post (November 8, 2020) that he’s done playing straight characters. Miller shared his opinions about the importance of queer talent getting the opportunity to tell queer stories.
On November 11, 2020, Miller made it clear that he’s just sharing his opinions. He wasn’t saying that queer actors should never play straight roles. He also added how his career trajectory influenced the fanbase he got. As someone who has done a lot of action-adventure content, he attracted a homophobic subgroup who liked his character, Michael, from Prison Break but had a problem with Miller being gay and wanted him to keep his queerness hidden.
Miller was quite open about how his “gayness was largely erased” in the first decade of his career (largely, by himself), and that he’s decided to now center his sexuality in a way that can’t be “missed by myself or anyone else.”
Miller publicly came out in August of 2013. He’s been vocal about the hardships he had to experience while young and as a closeted queer actor trying to make a career in Hollywood. In 2016, he spoke about depression when his weight gain was used as a meme.
In his latest post, Miller opened by saying that someone wrote to him (on Instagram) that, “[We] need more communication among LGBTQ fans and those who created these shows [to pave] the way for more inclusion…”, and how he agreed with these words.
He continued that currently, due to the time and culture we’re in, it isn’t just about playing queer roles but advocating on their behalf. Miller used his role in The CW show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow as an example. Turns out, Miller didn’t want his character Leo to frame marriage as something “normal” for the folks, especially kids, watching said show. He wanted to exhibit that two queer characters could live fulfilling lives without needing to fit in the “marriage construct.”
He also shared how he advocated for a change in a scene where Leo would “blush and turn away” upon seeing a shirtless Ray (played by Russell Tovey). Considering Leo and Ray were lovers, there was no reason for Leo to act in such a manner.
Miller’s examples show that when you have queer talent handling queer storylines, the chances of detecting certain issues increase during the creative stages of a project. Again, he’s not saying that straight talent could never have similar conversations for better queer representation onscreen. However, it’s always best to allow diverse voices to be a part of the creative team.
According to Miller, Hollywood is always sending messages. And I agree that it’s up to queer talent (and allies) to ensure the right messages are being sent. He wrote, “Stories matter. Balanced, responsible storytelling matters. You never know who’s watching. Or where.”
Miller can next be seen reprising his queer role as ADA Isaiah Holmes for Season 22 of Law & Order: SVU. The episode is expected to air in early 2021 (via TVLine).
Hopefully, one day, Miller (who describes himself as racially mixed) will get to be a showrunner on a diverse and queer-inclusive project that treats the audience with respect. The world really doesn’t need more queer-centric disasters or petty squabbles that shows like Teen Wolf, Roswell, New Mexico, and more brought to the forefront.
I’m also side-eyeing whatever The CW has in store for the upcoming Superman & Lois series after what writer Nadria Tucker shared.
All the best to Miller!
Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
Read our before commenting.
Do not copy our content in whole to other websites. Linkbacks are encouraged.
Copyright © The Geekiary