Comedian Matt Lucas spoke to The Mirror about his roles in early 2000s TV show Little Britain. He apologised for harm caused by his gay character, Daffyd and his catchphrase of ‘the only gay in the village’. He said the camp character, intended as a celebration of gay culture, led to bullying.
Matt Lucas said he sometimes heard from people teased with the ‘only gay in the village’ line.
He said that while he intended camp character Daffyd as a celebration of gay culture, it in fact led to bullying.
Lucas said he meant the character in Little Britain as entertainment, “not to make young gay people sad.”
The actor said he wouldn’t play the character today—nor characters of a different race.
He now looks back to a kind of ‘greediness’ in Little Britain.
“We just wanted to show off as many characters as possible, so we played black, white, straight, gay, male, female, tall, short, whatever,” he said.
“I am much more sympatico with contemporary approach so I would not play characters of other races now.
“I have had people who had ‘You are the only gay in the village’ said to them [but] to us, it was meant as celebration.”
While over-the-top camp characters used for comedy may be falling out of fashion, the debate continues over whether straight actors should play gay characters at all.
Straight Actors in Queer Roles
Glee actor Darren Criss has said that after playing multiple gay characters, he no longer wants to take roles that could go to a gay actor.
“There are certain [queer] roles that I’ll see that are just wonderful,” he said in December.
“But I want to make sure I won’t be another straight boy taking a gay man’s role.”
Disney faced criticism last year over their first major gay character. They gave the role of an effeminate and flamboyant man to straight actor Jack Whitehall.
Australian star Cate Blanchett meanwhile made headlines over her attitude to gay roles. She said she would “fight to the death” for the right of straight actors to play gay parts.
Blanchett, who played a lesbian in 2015’s Carol, said she hoped to see more LGBTIQ films greenlit in Hollywood.
She said while with changing times, producers would now make Carol ‘in a heartbeat’. Eight years ago, however, that film proved a struggle to make.
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