Wentworth Miller is speaking out about why he is not in support of having his Prison Break character come out as gay.
Earlier this month, the actor, who came out in 2013, addressed a potential sixth season of the beloved Fox series in an Instagram post, revealing that he has "officially" stepped down from the role of Michael Scofield because he does not wish to play straight characters anymore.
On Saturday, Miller, 48, responded to fans wanting his character Michael to be gay following his announcement.
"Forgive me – I need to put my finger on something. In and around the 'reveal' I'm gay IRL, don't wish to play straight parts etc., I saw dozens of comments suggesting Michael leave Sara for T-bag. Or that T-bag will be 'looking' for Michael/me," he began a lengthy Instagram post.
"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 f— 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?"
The star went on to call out the Hollywood industry, writing, "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. Stories matter. Balanced, responsible storytelling matters. You never know who's watching. Or where."
"'Dude. Lighten up. It's a show.' Etc. I hear you. AND Hollywood is never not sending messages. IMO. Even when we don't think what we're watching has A Message, messages are being sent. About gender, sex, race, dating, power, politics…," Miller continued. "A lot of folks in Hollywood don't want to accept this. IMO. How fast – how far – their stories fly."
The actor admitted that he has been one to accept a role solely for the paycheck, however, he wants to make a change moving forward.
"A lot of folks (yes, I've been one) check out and cash checks, turn blind eyes to messages sent. I see the impact on this page. Many experience it IRL. 'We're makin' fast food here,' a producer said to my co-star on another 'genre' show (not PB), revealing contempt for the material AND audience," he wrote. "I don't mind a little fast food in my diet. It's an issue if my diet is exclusively fast food. It's an issue if a large percentage of your audience only consumes fast food shows. We can't assume @disclosuredoc et al. are also on the menu (or even available)."
"Are fast food shows Hollywood's best chance to send messages that evolve/expand, add nutrition to less-than-ideal diets?" he asked.
"If so, I'd argue those shows become MORE important, not less. Deserve more respect. Nuance. Intention. Better representation. Because their audiences do too," he concluded his post.
Miller shared the news that he would be leaving Prison Break when he called out negative remarks that had been left on his Instagram, explaining that he will soon be disabling comments due to "the possibility of queer kids visiting here, recently out of the closet or exploring the idea… I don't want them exposed to bulls—."
"On a related note… I'm out. Of PB. Officially," he announced. "Not bec of static on social media (although that has centered the issue). I just don't want to play straight characters. Their stories have been told (and told)."
Many of Miller's former castmates were quick to share their support over his decision.
"It was fun mate," Dominic Purcell, who starred on Prison Break as Miller's on-screen brother, responded in the comments. "What a ride it was. Fully support and understand your reasoning. Glad you have made this decision for you health and your truth. Keep the posts coming. …. love ya brother."
Sarah Wayne Callies — who played Dr. Sara Tancredi, the love interest of Miller's character — said on her Instagram that "with gratitude for all the work we did together, & with deep love, I'm voicing my support for that choice."
"To all the fans, know this: the cast of prison break is a queer friendly space. we stand with – and among – our friends & family in the LGBTQ+ community with full throated support for their rights and artistic work. all the time. always," she wrote. "and if that’s a problem for anyone, to quote a good man, 'that’s your work.' "
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