Sorry folks, he's not actually gay. According to E! News, Andrew Garfield is starring in Tony Kushner's play Angels in America, where he plays Prior Walter, a man struggling between his Jewish faith and his homosexuality.
Garfield confessed that he prepared for the role by binge watching every season of RuPaul's Drag Race with at least eight friends.
"Every Sunday I would have eight friends over and we would just watch Ru," Andrew explained. "I mean every single series of RuPaul's Drag Race. I mean every series. This is my life outside of this play. I am a gay man right now just without the physical act—that's all."
That last statement sparked a storm of comments from the online community. According to The Guardian, Twitter users have condemned Garfield's comment as "silly and vacous."
Garfield went on to explain that when he was first offered the role of Walter, "he felt he had no right to play gay in one of the 20th century’s single most important works of LGBT art." A single soundbyte should not speak for the entire acting community. Garfield is not ignorant of his new role and the importance of the play overall.
Sadly, Garfield is one of the latest in "a long line" of straight entertainers who have "playfully floated" the idea that they fall "somewhere in the middle of the Kinsey scale." This is another name for the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, which shows how people do not fit into "exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories."
Actors and entertainers who playfully float their possible placement on the Kinsey scale also fall into the internet neogolism "queerbaiting." According to TV Tropes, this term refers to when "something "queer" is teased in a work and not followed through with." This can make it a meta term, meaning that it deals with audience expectation, reaction, and authorial intent. Tropes that are considered or can be considered queerbaiting, according to Tropes, include the aborted arc/coming-out story, ambiguously gay, but not too (insert sexuality here), experimented in college, office romance, star-crossed lovers, sweeps week lesbian kiss, among others.
While playing Prior Walter and watching RuPaul does not mean Garfield is gay, it does not mean he isn't an ally for the LGBTQ community. According to The Mercury News, Garfield was "pressed" by Kushner to accept the role.
“I had to trust that it was the right thing and Tony [Kushner, writer of ‘Angels in America’] had asked me," Garfield said.
Actors took to Twitter to voice their concerns. Scott Evans said that while Garfield is talented, he seems to be "completely oblivious" to what he says. Jonathan Apollo said the former Amazing Spiderman actor had a "very limited view" of the LGBTQ community.
Angels in America is presented in two parts, "Part One: Millenium Approaches" and "Part Two: Perestroika." Garfield will star alongside Denise Gough, Nathan Lane, James McArdle, and Russel Tovey.