Arrowverse and ‘Prison Break’ Star Wentworth Miller Opens up About His Battles Against Homophobia
Arrowverse star Wentworth Miller announced he would no longer play his Prison Break character, Michael Scofield, in an Instagram post on Nov. 8. He said he wants to focus on playing gay characters, and since Michael was straight he just doesn’t wish to reprise the role. In a subsequent Instagram post on Nov. 10, Miller elaborated on why playing gay roles is so important to him, as he faced homophobia before he came out.
Wentworth Miller regrets having few opportunities to play gay characters
Prison Break was Miller’s big break. Since it was a popular action-adventure show, it led to more genre roles in Resident Evil movies and in The CW’s Arrowverse. Miller’s Arrowverse character, Leonard Snart, is gay but looking back, Miller feels he’s making up for lost time in his career.
“I haven’t spent my career on Pose and Looking,” Miller wrote on Nov. 10. “Didn’t work out that way. What I’ve done is a lot of action-adventure, and that’s come with a diverse fanbase.”
Wentworth Miller experienced homophobia even from ‘Prison Break’ fans
Miller continued to explain how even people who may have loved Prison Break would express negative feelings towards him in real life.
“Within that is a homophobic subgroup and their sh*t’s been washing up on my shore,” Miller said. “They dig ‘Michael’ but have a problem with me. It’s got that ‘Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin’ energy. They’d prefer I keep quiet, dial it down. Don’t Remind Them. No.”
Miller continues to witness homophobia in the comments and DMs on his Instagram account. In his Nov. 8 post, he suggested he might close comments to protect his readers from seeing homophobia.
“I’m not concerned for myself,” Miller wrote. “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 bullsh*t.”
Wentworth Miller was in the closet prior to the Arrowverse
Miller admits he did remain closeted as a way to cope with Hollywood. He clarified that Prison Break never asked him to, but he felt he’d received that message from the industry, schools, his family and the culture at large. The Arrowverse was one of the first productions that allowed him to play a gay character.
“My gayness was largely erased (by me, for starters) in the first decades of my career,” Miller wrote on Nov. 10. “It is my want, now, to center it in a way that cannot be missed by myself or anyone else.”
Wentworth Miller’s hopes for the future
Miller also clarified that he is not making a wide declaration that only gay actors should play gay roles. He is simply saying that he wishes to only play gay characters from now on. However, he still encourages more gay actors to play gay roles.
“Do I want to see more gay parts played by gay actors?” Miller wrote. “Yes. It makes a difference performance-wise (IMO), but also bec straight actors playing “gay” centers straightness. Doesn’t matter if they’re “acting” – I still know what I’m looking at. (Does this dynamic exist on a spectrum with porn genres like “gay-for-pay” and the prioritization/fetishization of straight/”masc” men over gay/”femme” men within the gay community? Conversations for another time.)”