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Andrew Scott is right – it’s time to retire the phrase ‘openly ***’ | Ryan Gilbey

The actor’s suggestion in a roundtable interview is more common sense than provocation, the phrase speaking to a homophobic media that no longer calls the shots

Andrew Scott is capable of many things but giving a dull interview seems not to be among them. Last year, he was splendidly decrying the tyranny of the standing ovation in modern theatre (“I strongly believe that if people don’t feel like standing up, they shouldn’t”). Now, in one of those cosy Hollywood Reporter roundtable discussions which proliferate during awards season, he has challenged a piece of outdated rhetoric from an era when queerness was synonymous with shame.

The moment arose when the moderator Scott Feinberg singled out Scott, who stars in Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers as a screenwriter magically reunited with the parents who died when he was 12, and Colman Domingo, who plays Martin Luther King’s advisor Bayard Rustin in the Netflix biopic Rustin, as “openly *** actors playing openly *** characters who are at the centre of important films”. The remark was intended as a way in to a discussion about representation, though at no point did he refer to the other performers present (Robert Downey Jr, Paul Giamatti, Mark Ruffalo and Jeffrey Wright) as “openly heterosexual”.

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