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Heartland’s Aidan Moreno says straight actors should ‘step aside’ from gay roles

"A gay guy should play a gay guy,” he said.

By Emily Maskell

Heartland actor Aidan Moreno.
Heartland actor Aidan Moreno says straight actors should 'step aside' from playing gay roles. (Image: Netflix)

Aidan Moreno is the latest actor to join the debate on who should portray LGBTQ+ characters.

Aidan, who stars in Netflix’s Canadian family comedy-drama Heartland, expressed his thoughts on casting “authenticity.”

In an interview with MailOnline, he shared he believes it’s time for gay actors to consistently play gay characters. 

“I would say I’m leaning towards a gay guy should play a gay guy,” he said.

“This is a weird one because I understand how some characters need a straight actor because it adds more of a platform and focus to gay stories.”

However, he added: “I think we are in a place where we should step aside and let gay and trans represent their own community through their own voice.”

Aidan added if straight white men are making the decisions, representation will still be through a straight white man’s lens. He calls for representation at “every level.”

“So whether that is a gay actor playing the gay role I think they need to be as much involved as possible.” He notes that otherwise “you’re playing a stereotype.”

“I’m used to the homophobic comments”

In Heartland, Aidan plays Rick, the show’s first openly LGBTQ+ character.

While his addition to the cast was overall positive, homophobic trolls still had cruel comments.

Aidan, who came out in his late teens, details that he has developed a “tough skin” to homophobic hate.

However, that doesn’t mean he takes the hate lightly. “When people attack Rick they are attacking the entire LGBTQ community they are saying you are not accepted.”

The upcoming season of Heartland will be dealing with LGBTQ+ topics head-on. Additionally, Aidan reveals viewers will see a “more vulnerable side” to his character including a potential baby and husband.

Season 16 of Heartland is set to premiere on Netflix on May 17.