Openly gay actor Sean Hayes will host next month's Tony Awards, producers of the show announced Monday.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting the Tony Awards,” said Hayes. “As the new guy on Broadway, it's an honor to be included in the established alumni.”

Hayes has been nominated in the Best Actor in a Musical category for his Broadway debut in Promises, Promises. Also competing in the same category is Kelsey Grammer for his interpretation of gay nightclub owner Georges in the Broadway revival of La Cage Aux Folles.

Hayes' turn playing straight man Chuck Baxter in Promises, Promises was harshly criticized last month by openly gay Newsweek contributor Ramin Setoodeh.

Saying it's “OK for straight actors to play gay,” Setoodeh protested gay actors who take on straight roles and singled out Hayes' performance as “wooden and insincere, like he's trying to hide something, which of course he is.”

Gay Hollywood piled on against Newsweek for publishing the piece.

Audiences delighted in Hayes' antics as he played campy Jack McFarland on NBC's Will and Grace for eight years but questioned whether the actor who played gay was gay in real life. In March, on the cover of gay glossy The Advocate, Hayes announced he is.

“I am who I am,” he said. “I was never in, as they say. Never,” he insisted, adding that he never faked a straight relationship.

“We couldn't be more excited about Sean carrying on the tradition of excellent hosts for the Tony Awards,” Glenn Weiss, executive producer of the Tony Awards, said. “Sean's humor, charm and natural ability on the stage will make an already great show even better.”

The 64th Annual Tony Awards will be carried live on CBS June 13th.