Canadian actor and broadcaster Dan Levy has hit back at a TV critic who appeared to take umbrage with his ‘feyness’.
Levy is best known in Canada for his part in the sitcom Schitt’s Creek, which he co-created with his father, Eugene Levy.
He has recently taken on host duties of The Great Canadian Baking Show, which apes the same format as the hit UK series, The Great British Bake Off. The series began airing on CBC yesterday.
In a review of the cookery competition in Canada’s Globe and Mail, critic John Doyle was less than impressed.
‘Hosting duties have, inexplicably, been handed to Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek and British actor Julia Chan,’ says Doyle.
‘CBC’s devotion to Dan Levy must be required by the CRTC or something. Chan does a formidably twee voiceover introduction to things, and the same twee twist on things occurs at regular intervals. This gambit is, I suspect, a silly ruse to make the viewers feel they are watching the original in all its tweeness.’
However, it’s something he says later that hit a nerve with Levy. Doyle goes on to criticize cookery experts Bruno Feldeisen and Rochelle Adonis: ‘Both are a tad stiff and nervous and little wonder – at any moment, they know they might be swarmed by the feyness of Levy and the tweeness of Chan.’
‘Offensive, irresponsible, and homophobic’
Yesterday, Levy responded by posting the following message on his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
‘Let me preface this by acknowledging that criticism is a necessary part of our cultural conversation. I welcome it. I respect it. The good and the bad.
‘That said, as a proud gay man, being criticized for my “feyness” (defined by Merriam-Webster as “campy” and “precious”) in today’s Globe & Mail struck me as offensive, irresponsible, and homophobic.
‘To all the “fey” kids/people out there who read that and were made to question whether their “feyness” is deserving of criticism, it’s not.
‘You are loved for who you are. Shame on you, The Globe and Mail.’
Doyle’s criticism has been met with protest by some Twitter users.
“Ah well, I guess we’ve run out of descriptors. All that’s left here is a few not-so-subtly homophobic ones. Guess I’ll go with ‘feyness.'” Quipped @drewross.
"Ah well, I guess we've run out of descriptors. All that's left here is a few not-so-subtly homophobic ones. Guess I'll go with 'feyness.'"
— Andrew Ross (@drewross) November 2, 2017
Levy’s tweet of the message, meanwhile, has been met with an outpouring of support.
One user, @NickPat24, said, ‘Wish someone told me this growing up. My “feyness” was criticized by family. Self-policing to be less “fey” made me miserable and tired.’
Wish someone told me this growing up. My "feyness" was criticized by family. Self-policing to be less "fey" made me miserable and tired.
— nicholas renner (@NickPat24) November 2, 2017
Another, @WalkerLlw4atty said: ‘Congratulations on being the superior person and taking the high road. Unfortunately the ignorance is still real.’
Congragulations on being the superior person and taking the high road. Unfortunately the ignorance is still real.
— Laura Walker (@WalkerLlw4atty) November 1, 2017
The sweetest response came from his own family, with his mother, Deb, tweeting, ‘Proud to be your mother.’
Proud to be your mother.
— deb d (@tingtime) November 1, 2017
GSN has reached out to John Doyle for comment.