AceShowbiz - Actor Penn Badgley has put movie studio bosses on blast for failing to improve diversity in Hollywood.
The former "Gossip Girl" star is frustrated by the lack of forward progress in casting more people from different ethnicities and backgrounds onscreen, especially as there isn't a shortage of aspiring actors from the various communities ready and willing to work.
"If anybody (onscreen) exists at any kind of intersection of oppression beyond the box of white male, I'd say let's make f**king sure that they're being represented by the people who have lived this experience (and) not have people who haven't lived the experience portraying them," he told British outlet PinkNews, which covers issues affecting the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community.
"Because then at the end of the day you're getting a real portrayal."
Penn is particularly keen to have real gay and transgender actors play such parts in entertainment, instead of having straight stars hog the limelight all the time.
"In reality, we have basically, like, privileged a** white people playing everybody, and so we need to stop that," he said.
While Badgley accepts that "in theory", it should be OK for actors to embody whatever role they choose, since there is no "totally just society", that cannot become the norm.
The Gossip Girl actor told PinkNews he supports trans and gay actors playing trans and gay roles. https://t.co/dg0xaJxjtb— PinkNews (@PinkNews) December 23, 2018
"That's not the world we live in," he insisted. "We live in a world that does not recognise virtually anyone outside of the white male or the beautiful white woman who has to be an object of desire and affection."
Penn's comments emerge shortly after former "Glee" star Darren Criss, who is straight, admitted he was no longer comfortable playing gay characters onscreen, because he doesn't want to take jobs away from the LGBTQ community.
"There are certain (queer) roles that I'll see that are just wonderful," he told Bustle, reflecting on his previous jobs as homosexual Blaine Anderson on "Glee", and killer Andrew Cunanan in "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story". "But I want to make sure I won't be another straight boy taking a gay man's role."