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Alan Cumming's Instinct role makes him the first openly gay lead on a network drama, yet CBS seems to fear him being "too gay"

  • "Yeah, you read that right," says Matt Zoller Seitz. "Other prominent LGBTQ characters have been featured in CBS ensembles — Archie Panjabi’s bisexual Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife might be the best of the last decade — but not one has been placed at the center of a show and written into every important scene. The thing is, (Cumming's) Dylan is forced by his context to be as constrained, even sexless, as possible, as if the network is concerned that if they let him be too gay, or just comfortably gay, audiences (and by audiences, I mean people over 50, because this is CBS, the broadcast network with the oldest demographic) will desert them." Seitz adds: "Seriously, folks: This is Alan Freakin’ Cumming we’re talking about here, a playful imp with ambidextrous suggestive eyebrows, somebody so deliciously open in terms of his sexual bandwidth that you can believe that his characters exist at any point on the continuum of attraction (or, in the case of his magnificent turn as the Emcee in Cabaret, on all points at once). Casting Alan Cumming as the first gay lead in a network drama and then turning him to a borderline Merchant Ivory study in repression is the sort of perversity that serves no one. I’m not saying he needs to make his entrance in an upcoming episode by slinking onto a stage in a bowler hat, leather pants and suspenders with no shirt, and singing “Wilkommen,” though that would objectively and scientifically be awesome. I’m just saying, For crying out loud, let Alan Cumming be Alan Cumming! Or at least let him be as rascally and insinuating as he was on The Good Wife as Eli Gold."

    TOPICS: Alan Cumming, CBS, Instinct, LGBTQ