Andrew Garfield (Pic: Gage Skidmore)
Andrew Garfield, best known for his role as Spiderman, has been hit with a backlash following his flippant comments about his sexuality.
The 33-year-old British-American actor is currently starring in the London production of the iconic play Angels in America, about the rise of the HIV epidemic, in which he plays a gay man.
During a Q&A about the show on Monday, Garfield was asked what kind of research he did to take on the character.
“As far as I know, I am not a gay man,” Andrew replied at first, reports Gay Times. “Maybe I’ll have an awakening later in my life, which I’m sure will be wonderful and I’ll get to explore that part of the garden, but right now I’m secluded to my area, which is wonderful as well.”
He then went on to state that part of his research included watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. “I mean every single series of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I mean every series,” he explained.
Garfield added: “My only time off during rehearsals – every Sunday I would have eight friends over and we would just watch Ru. This is my life outside of this play. I am a gay man right now just without the physical act – that’s all.”
The comments were slammed on social media as insensitive and offensive. Garfield was criticised for being “a straight tourist” in the LGBT community and for appearing to suggest that being gay is simply a matter of watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Garfield has shown himself to be an LGBT ally in the past, but these tone-deaf comments, say critics, reflect a shallow, unrealistic and stereotypical view of what it means to be gay.
The star has made something of a game at playing with his sexuality and gender identity. In January, he famously kissed fellow actor Ryan Reynolds when the latter failed to win a Golden Globe Award. In 2014, he played a transgender woman in a music video for the rock band Arcade Fire.