Dr. Who actor John Barrowman was turned down for Will and Grace because he was too straight, even though he’s gay.
The part instead went to straight actor Eric McCormack. Will and Grace is a comedy show that premiered in 1998 and went on to become one of the most famous shows on television and lasted for eight seasons. The show centers around the relationship between a straight interior designer named Grace, and her gay roommate named Will.
The show details often ridiculous events that transpire in New York as Will and Grace interact with various straight and gay characters. It collected 83 nominations and won 16 Emmy Awards during its run, yet there was always a fierce battle between what was considered “too gay.”
This problem was highlighted during casting when gay actor John Barrowman auditioned for the part of Will and was turned down for being, “too straight.” The role was then given to straight actor Eric McCormack who producers believed better portrayed a typical gay man.
Barrowman says this move was typical of a “homophobic” Hollywood that still gets unnerved at the thought of a legitimate gay couple. The saddest part he says, “is it’s run by gay men and women.”