Wentworth Miller Addresses Stepping Away from 'Prison Break,' Straight Roles

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday November 24, 2020

Wentworth Miller on "Prison Break"
Wentworth Miller on "Prison Break"  (Source:IMDB)

On Saturday, Wentworth Miller spoke out about his resistance to having his "Prison Break" character come out as gay in a potential reboot of the series, People reports.

Earlier in November, Miller confirmed in an Instagram post that he will not take part in a sixth season of the hit FOX drama, if a reboot happens, because he is stepping away from playing straight characters. "Their stories have been told (and told)," the actor said. "So. No more Michael. If you were a fan of the show, hoping for additional seasons... I understand this is disappointing. I'm sorry. If you're hot and bothered bec you fell in love with a fictional straight man played by a real gay one... That's your work."

After what Miller calls "dozens of comments" by fans suggesting his character, Michael Scofield, come out and leave love interest Sara for fellow inmate T-Bag, the actor responded, "Is it possible, to some folks, T-Bag = 'gay' rep on PB? Maybe the ONLY rep on TV in their part of the world? Forget the homophobes + zealots (bec fuck them) - for the queer kids, the queer adults who will never come out bec coming out = death in their part of the world... is T-bag the best they can expect?"

Miller's lengthy and purposeful post went on to address why he values representation and stories: "I've said one of the lies Hollywood tells is the screen is sacred and actors are gods. It isn't and they aren't. Storytelling is sacred. Older than civilization, it's how we try and make sense of where we've been. Are. Where we're going. Hollywood is just the shiny straw thru which the sacred is (currently) channeled."

The actor also recalled hearing a producer refer to "another 'genre' show" he starred in as "fast food," with the producer "revealing contempt for the material AND audience" of the unnamed popular show. Miller believes better representation matters on such widely viewed programs, and that show-runners bear a particular responsibility "to send messages that evolve/expand" for the sake of their diverse audiences.

In the earlier post, Miller also said he would be disabling comments to prevent homophobes from adversely impacting his more vulnerable fans. "I'm not concerned for myself. I can't be 'bullied' in this space. I have too much power. 'Delete. Block. Deactivate.' Etc. But I take seriously the possibility of queer kids visiting here, recently out of the closet or exploring the idea... I don't want them exposed to bullshit."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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