This is the article that prompted me to write this post: Russell T Davies: Straight actors should not play gay characters This is a progressive issue that I am not really on the progressive side of, so I thought I would present my ideas to CFC and get them torn down. As I see it there are 3 arguments for this point of view: It is more authentic, and therefore the product will be better. While this is a quantitative claim that should be backed up with numerical analysis, I can accept the idea of actors that have real life experience of the issues they are presenting will be able to do it better than those who have not. However, in most roles the primary issues that are presented are not related to sexual preference. For example if we assume Sherlock Holmes was gay, should that role be restricted to gay actors, even when the stories do not involve his sexuallity? Is there any reason to believe that a gay actor would be better at presenting that role that a straight actor who was a high functioning cocaine addict, or some other feature that has bearing on the role but is not a recognised underrepresented class? We do it for other disadvantaged classes, so we should do it in this case "You wouldn't cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair, you wouldn't black someone up". However, there are many disadvantaged classes we do not extend this to. When have we had a blind daredevil, or a one handed Captain Hook? What about casting non-Tutsi or Hutu in Hotel Rwanda? There that is the racial distinction that matters, not the white/black distinction that is usually applied in the west, so should we not be using that? The most difficult to achieve real visibility, though I would say most important underrepresented group, is surely the poor. Not made in this article, but another argument is that if characters with these features are played by those without them, then the actors with them will not be able to get work. My problem with this is 2 fold: The small argument, and where I could be wrong, is that while this would be a good argument for not blacking up, the general impression of the acting profession is that homosexuals are overrepresented, as opposed to black people who are underrepresented. The main argument is why apply this logic to this sector, and not the rest of the economy? While I would very much like a policy of full employment, we in the aggregate vote against it. Why should we apply this logic to the acting profession when we do not to the rest of the economy, rather than the opposite view that you must NOT consider protected characteristics in employment decisions?