“Glee” star Alex Newell takes issue with Bill O’Reilly saying his transgender character might encourage “dopey” kids to “experiment” with their genders.
“It’s wrong to call people dopey,” Newell told Fusion’s Alicia Menendez on Thursday. “When it’s something this poignant and such a big part of the society, you can’t call kids dopey because this is something that they’re actually going through, this is what they feel on the inside, there’s nothing dopey about it.”
O’Reilly said on his show in April 2012 that “Glee” might lead to gender-based experimentation the same way seeing James Dean smoking made him want to smoke.
“If you make it glamorous in a program like Glee, which is undeniably a good program… a lot of these dopey kids are confused about who they are. They’re confused,” said O’Reilly.
Newell, 21, who came to the show by way of “The Glee Project,” said he enjoys feminine fashion and makeup because “it’s fun,” but is not transgender.
“Some people don’t understand that I do play a character,” he said. “I must be doing it well if they really think that I’m living my character’s life,” he said.
Watch the interview with Newell:
And O’Reilly’s original segment: