Out actor Tuc Watkins this week walked
back comments he made about gay characters on the ABC hit sitcom
Watkins (Desperate Housewives, One
Life To Live) criticized the show, saying its gay characters
don't “feel modern at all” and describing them as the “gay
equivalent of 'blackface.'”
“Sure, people come in all shapes,
sizes, etc.,” Watkins wrote on Facebook. “So why are we fed such
80s stereotypes every week?”
Eric Stonestreet and out actor Jesse
Tyler Ferguson play a married couple raising a daughter on the
“Sorry you feel that way Tuc,”
Ferguson responded. “I know lots of guys who are just like Cam and
lots of guys who are just like Mitch. We can't be expected to
represent every gay person. We can only represent these two people.”
Ferguson added that he was “incredibly
proud” of the show and his character.
Watkins took back his “blackface”
comment in a lengthy Facebook post, but not much else.
“On December 19 I cried, 'Blackface!'
I did it in a fit of exasperation over a stereotype that shook me
when I was a kid that I saw alive and well today.”
“Stereotypes create judgements. When
those judgements lead to bullying...or worse...we've got a problem.
I don't hear a lot of bullying around the 'cranky old man,' 'neurotic
wife,' or 'bumbling husband' demographic.”
“What's happening over at Modern
Family is not blackface. Blackface is hateful. However, I do
believe a stereotype is being perpetuated that can be harmful.”
Such stereotypes, he added, kept him in
the closet: “Actually it was worse than that because I hit the
denial button before I'd even heard of 'the closet.'”
“Through the gay characters that I
have played I have attempted to confuse the stereotype instead of
perpetuate it. Bully for me,” he added.
He concluded his post by inviting
others to share their opinions on the subject.