Actor Andrew Garfield is facing an online backlash for saying he is “a gay man” but “without the physical act”.
The Spider-Man star plays a homosexual with AIDS in a new production of the play Angels In America at the National Theatre in London.
During a Q&A panel, the 33-year-old actor said he is “a gay man right now, just without the physical act”, and said he better understood his character by watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The backlash came swift across social media, with users accusing Garfield of being “oblivious to what’s coming out of your mouth”.
“Andrew Garfield playing a gay man on TV doesn’t suddenly mean he understands oppression,” one user wrote.
Hey did you know that if you marathon Drag Race you are a gay man? That’s all it takes. Who knew. Thanks, Andrew Garfield.
— Lana del Lorde (@jiggatravels) July 6, 2017
“You are a talented guy, but seem to be completely oblivious to what is coming out of your mouth,” wrote another.
According to Gay Times magazine, Garfield explained that he was actually not gay, but he felt gay.
“As far as I know, I am not a gay man,” the actor said.
“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.”
Pleased to announce that according to Andrew Garfield I am now the gayest, manliest gay man ever, based on the amount of Drag Race I watch.
— мира (@ana_irim) July 6, 2017
To prepare for the role, the actor said he and his friends would have marathon sessions watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“My only time off during rehearsals – every Sunday I would have eight friends over and we would just watch Ru,” he added.
“Pleased to announce that according to Andrew Garfield I am now the gayest, manliest gay man ever, based on the amount of Drag Race I watch,” said a woman on Twitter.
“I like how Andrew Garfield’s view of being gay is having friends over to watch RuPaul,” said another user.
“Hey did you know that if you marathon Drag Race you are a gay man? That’s all it takes. Who knew. Thanks, Andrew Garfield.”