Neighbours actor Matt Wilson says he plays his gay character as “normal”

Neighbours star Matt Wilson has apologised for a series of comments he made in a recent interview.

Wilson, who plays gay character Aaron Brennan on the long running soap, was appearing on a UK program The Wright Stuff when he was asked if gay actors should be playing gay roles.

“We’ve had this argument come up a couple of times,” Wilson said.  “There is a lot of people who say, ‘Why don’t you get a gay person to play a gay character?’  It’s like saying ‘why don’t you get a person who’s in a wheelchair to play a character in a wheelchair.'”

Wilson said his character has been written to act “straight” and “normal”.

“We specifically designed the character to act straight and act normal.  When I say normal I mean he doesn’t stand out amongst the crowd.

“It’s not like the guys on Modern Family where you see them, they’re flamboyant and camp, and sort of walk around tiptoeing.

“That creates separation, that’s us and them, and it shouldn’t be like that.  It should be all equal and nobody should have a problem with that.  And the way the other characters react around my character is that there’s never a problem.  There’s never a problem at all.  It’s kind of setting the standard.” Wilson said.

The actors comments got a swift reaction on social media with many people feeling his comments implied that camp or effeminate men aren’t normal.

Wilson answered concerns fans, saying that he had chosen his words poorly, but also noted that he was trying to be supportive of a friend who had recently shared his coming out experience.

“Hi guys.  Agreed.  Choice of words wasn’t right and apologies if it comes across as offensive!” Wilson wrote on Facebook.

“The message I want to get across (and this is in support of one of my closes friends as he is having issues coming out) that he is sick and tired of people assuming that because his sexuality is different to the guy next to him that they ‘expected him to act different’.  This isn’t the case, and shouldn’t be preached on TV.”

Neighbours has now been airing on Australian TV for 32 years. Stefan Dennis is the only original cast member who is still with the show. Dennis played Paul Robinson from 1985 until 1993, he rejoined the show in 2004. Actor Geoff Payne who plays Clive Gibbons on the show recently rejoined the cast after a 28 year hiatus.

OIP Staff

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