Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller has responded to calls for his character to have a gay relationship with T-Bag.
The actor has called for more ‘responsible’ storytelling in the industry as opposed to adding gay characters just for the sake of representation.
Miller, who confirmed he is gay in 2013, previously announced that he won’t be appearing in any new seasons of Prison Break. During his time on the show, he played the character of Michael Schofield, a man who deliberately gets himself sent to prison with a plan to break his elder brother, Lincoln, out.
‘I just don’t want to play straight characters. Their stories have been told,’ he said earlier this month.
Since then, the actor said he has seen ‘dozens of comments’ suggesting that Michael leave his wife Sara for T-Bag, a character in the show who is gay.
In a lengthy post on Instagram, Miller rejected the comments while calling out the standard of representation in Hollywood.
Is it possible, to some folks, T-Bag = “gay” rep on Prison Break? Maybe the ONLY rep on TV in their part of the world? Forget the homophobes + zealots (bec f*ck them) – for the queer kids, the queer adults who will never come out bec coming out = death in their part of the world… is T-bag the best they can expect?
In the post, Miller described storytelling as ‘sacred’, and said there is a need for more balanced responsible storytelling in the industry.
‘I’ve said one of the lies Hollywood tells is the screen is sacred and actors are gods. It isn’t and they aren’t. Storytelling is sacred. Stories matter. Balanced, responsible storytelling matters. You never know who’s watching. Or where,’ he said.
Hollywood is never not sending messages. Even when we don’t think what we’re watching has a Message, messages are being sent. About gender, sex, race, dating, power, politics… A lot of folks in Hollywood don’t want to accept this. How fast – how far – their stories fly. A lot of folks (yes, I’ve been one) check out and cash checks, turn blind eyes to messages sent. I see the impact on this page. Many experience it [in real life].
Miller went on to say that he had once heard a producer tell a co-star on a different TV show that they were making ‘fast food’. He said this approach to making TV and film does not allow people to expand their views, and ultimately results in a lack of diversity and representation on screen.
I don’t mind a little fast food in my diet. It’s an issue if my diet is exclusively fast food. It’s an issue if a large percentage of your audience only consumes fast food shows. Are fast food shows Hollywood’s best chance to send messages that evolve/expand, add nutrition to less-than-ideal diets?
In September, Dominic Purcell – who plays Lincoln – confirmed that Prison Break would be returning for a sixth season.
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