Alex Newell, the actor who plays the groundbreaking transgender character Wade "Unique" Adams on "Glee," sat down with Fusion's Alicia Menendez this week to discuss his role on the hit show, Corey Montieth’s death and Bill O’Reilly's recent transphobic comments about his character.
O'Reilly recently came under fire for stating, "if you make [transgender identity] glamorous in a program like 'Glee,' which is undeniably a good program... a lot of these dopey kids are confused about who they are."
"It's wrong to call people dopey," Newell stated about O'Reilly's comments in the above video. "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."
Newell also highlighted the pervasive assumption by the media that he himself is transgender (he's not) and the ways in which he enjoys playing with gender in his wardrobe.
Though "Unique" is the first transgender teen character on mainstream television, transgender individuals are slowly gaining more representation in television as a whole, through actors such as Laverne Cox in "Orange Is The New Black" and others like fashion designer Ari South on "Project Runway."
Check out the rest of the revealing and awesome interview with Newell above.