Andrew Scott: The gay interview

PRIDEBy Chris Azzopardi

Editor’s note: If you’ve seen Andrew Scott in the BBC miniseries Sherlock, you already know (1) he’s a hottie; (2) he’s scary as hell as Sherlock’s insane nemesis Prof. Jim Moriarty. But you might also have seen him in the new film Pride, which, sadly, closes today after a brief run at the Angelika. Our Chris Azzopardi chatted with the recently-out 38-year-old Irishman.

Dallas Voice: For you, how does it feel being part of a movie that’s moved so many people in the gay community?  Andrew Scott: It’s extraordinary, really. We’re all completely blown over by it. The response we’re hearing from cinemas across the country, where people are standing up at the end and they’re clapping — it’s just very unusual for me. I’ve certainly never been in a film before where that happens.

People just feel very inspired by it, and they have very passionate feelings toward it. So yeah, I’m thrilled about that — thrilled [it’s being embraced] not just by the gay community, but by a lot of different audiences. We kind of really hoped that the gay community would embrace it, but we keep saying that it’s not just a gay movie. The message — the idea of solidarity — isn’t just for a gay audience. All of us are more similar to each other than we think we are.

Pride demonstrates strength in numbers, which seems especially relevant now that the gay rights movement is in full swing and more straight allies are standing up with us. As the fight for equality marches on, what do you see as the relevancy of this story right now?  Being gay isn’t something in and of itself that’s a virtue any more than being straight is, but the attributes that gay people develop as a result of being gay – mainly empathy toward other people, and compassion and tolerance — those are things to be proud of. It’s a real message that I find really heartwarming. To segregate people is very dangerous in the struggle for gay rights for people across the way. Inclusivity rather than exclusivity. We must celebrate our differences, and we must celebrate our humanity as well as our sexuality.

You recently spoke out against the notion of “playing gay,” which is obviously something you feel strongly about.  You can’t. It’s absolutely impossible to play that as an actor. If someone were to play me in a film about my life, I would hate for just gay actors to audition for the role, because I think I could potentially have attributes as much in common with a straight actor as I could with a gay actor.

You can really make a general wash of people’s sexuality [and say] that people are exactly the same. But the attributes I possess as a human being could be represented by anybody with human sexuality, really, if they have the chief attributes that an actor needs, which are empathy and imagination. So, I do think it’s very important that those things are mentioned, that a human being is made up of a whole range of things and sexuality is, of course, one of them, but it’s not the sum total.

Which straight actor would you want playing you in a film?  Oh, I have no idea! That thought terrifies me! The fact that I can’t even get an audition for that part terrifies me even more.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

UPDATE on Brenda Namigadde: Deportation delayed by temporary injunction

As I noted here earlier, Ugandan lesbian Brenda Namigadde — who fled to the U.K. in 2002 to escape persecution in her home country where homosexuality is outlawed with those who break that law subject to up to 14 years in prison — was scheduled to be sent back to Uganda at 9 p.m. tonight (London time). But word now is that a High Court judge has granted a temporary injunction preventing her deportation, according to reports by BBC.

Namigadde’s earlier pleas for asylum in the U.K. had been denied after a judge said there was no evidence she is a lesbian.

Efforts to halt Namigadde’s deportation took on added urgency on Wednesdays after news broke of the murder of Uganda’s most prominent gay rights activist, David Kato.

—  admin

George Michael arrested — so, what else is new?

George Michael, arrest
From Glamorati.com.

The BBC is reporting that George Michael has been arrested in London for driving his car into a building. Entertainment Weekly reports “after police got reports that his Range Rover had crashed into a Snappy Snaps shop in London following his attendance at London’s gay pride parade, he was taken into custody at a north London police station under suspicion of being unfit to drive. Michael posted bail and will return in August for a court date.”

This comes almost a year after his last arrest in London for crashing his Land Rover into a tractor-trailer. Then, he claimed he was sober, but reports have not mentioned any such claims this time around.

—  Rich Lopez

Acyclovir could help keep those with HIV healthier longer

An article posted today on the BBC Web site says that a medication commonly used to treat herpes has shown to help keep people with HIV/AIDS healthier longer.

“A study of 3,300 patients in Africa found aciclovir reduced the risk of HIV progression by 16 percent,” BBC reports, quoting from research published in the medical journal Lancet.

Experts stressed, however, that treatment with acyclovir did NOT make HIV-positive people less infectious.

—  admin

BBC promotes debate on whether gays should be executed

bbc_world_service

So many news organizations are getting coverage of the proposed Ugandan genocide of gays and lesbians wrong.

Today, the British journalists’ union criticized the BBC over their coverage.

The U.K. Guardian reports that BBC World Service has posted a discussion to debate whether or not gay people should be executed.

Should we post a discussion about whether the head of the BBC should be killed?

Of course not. That is simply irresponsible. Then why would the BBC post a discussion about whether I should be executed?

The BBC is publicly funded by a tax paid by all British citizens including gays and lesbians. Is the BBC proposing that those citizens should be murdered?

Or is the justification for the argument that the lives of Ugandan gays and lesbians are worth less than British gays and lesbians?

A news organization has an obligation to report facts and not make them up like Fox News does. A news organization may print opinion and label it as such. We do that on our Viewpoints page. We print opinion here in Instant Tea. But even opinion pages do not promote morally, ethically, legally criminal, abominable acts of murder.

Any responsible news organization has an obligation to call genocide what it is and under no circumstances should there be an online debate about whether that genocide is OK. It’s not.

UPDATE: BBC apologizes

Peter Horrocks, director of BBC World Service, apologized for a headline and for offense we may have taken at a debate hosted by his site over whether gays and lesbians should be executed.

I’m not sure he thinks debating whether gays and lesbians should be executed is wrong. He’s certainly sorry gays and lesbians were offended and sorry for the offensive headline, but apparently there is still room to debate whether Ugandan gays and lesbians have committed a capital offense.

—  David Taffet