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Chai Fonacier slams entertainment media for asking actors if they are gay

/ 04:09 PM August 23, 2018
chai fonacier

Image: Facebook/@chaifonacier

Chai Fonacier expressed her disappointment at how entertainment media has handled itself asking actors about their sexuality.

She took to Twitter today to slam the practice of reporters—particularly those from Manila—who ask actors playing gay characters if they themselves are gay. She also noted the irony that many of these media members are gay, too, but tend to ask these questions.

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She tweeted what she wished she could say to these reporters:

“Entertainment media to other actors: bakla ka ba?

Me: ikaw, bakla ka rin, diba? Bakit mo nilalagay sa alanganin ang pagiging bakla ng isang aktor? Hindi ka ba marunong sumuporta sa grupong kinabibilangan mo? Anti gay ka yata eh! Kahit gay ka rin.”

(Entertainment media to other actors: are you gay?

Me: you, you’re gay too, right? Why do you cast doubt on an actor being gay? Don’t you know how to support those who belong to your own group? Maybe you’re anti-gay! Even if you’re gay too.)

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“Understand: an actor, whether gay or not in real life, can play straight or gay characters lalo na kung magaling siya (especially if s/he is good). Trabaho niya yun eh (That’s his/her job),” she said in another tweet.

“Good luck, oras na para i-call out namin kayo (It’s time we called you out). Magtanong kayo mg matinong tanong (Ask proper questions) please for once, entertainment media sa (in) Manila!”

Fonacier has been vocal about her support for the LBGTQ+ community and gained recognition for portraying a trans man in sleeper hit “Patay na si Hesus.”

Journalists in the US have debated the issue: some argue that asking about an actor’s sexuality should depend on its relevance to the story. Kelly McBride, vice president of the Poynter Institute said, “I would almost always say that a person’s sexual orientation is irrelevant,” in a 2015 piece in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Others, including LGBTQ+ outlets such as Out magazine, say that visibility of the queer community is important.

“It matters for people who are still continuing to look for themselves or a version of themselves in media and representation and don’t see themselves there as much as they feel like they would want to,” said Out contributor Shana Krochmal to the same publication.

However, when Krochmal asked “How to Get Away with Murder” actor Jack Falahee, who plays a gay character on the show, if he was gay, he said the question was “reductive” and believed it didn’t have to be asked.  /ra

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TAGS: Chai Fonacier, Gay, LGBTQ, Sexuality
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