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Penny McNamee throws her support behind Hugh Sheridan following the postponement of his stage show

''Hey musical theatre friends, we have to stop supporting open letters written by outraged colleagues.''

By Bella Brennan
Last week, Hugh Sheridan found himself at the centre of fevered social media backlash after his upcoming stage show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, was postponed following an open letter from transgender activists slamming the casting of the actor for the lead role.
The Queer Artist Alliance Australia labelled Hugh's casting as "offensive", before saying the lead role of Hedwig Robinson should have been given to a transgender person.
"The choice to cast a cis-gender male as a transgender character is offensive and damaging to the trans-community, and continues to cause genuine stress and frustration amongst trans- and gender- nonconforming performers all across Australia," the group wrote at the time.
"It is unquestionable Hugh is a talented and deserving actor… it is not appropriate for a cis actor to be the gatekeeper of a trans story."
Over the weekend, the Daily Mail Australia reported that Hugh had been released from hospital in Sydney following treatment for his mental health.
And now, Home And Away actress Penny McNamee has taken to social media to seemingly throw her support behind the former Packed To The Rafters star.
Penny McNamee's impassioned plea referenced the Hugh Sheridan scandal. (Image: Instagram)
While Penny didn't specifically name Hugh in her post, she made reference to the scandal while asking for people to think twice before sharing open letters, which could encourage social media pile-ons and result in unemployment.
"Hey musical theatre friends, we have to stop supporting open letters written by outraged colleagues. There are ways to have civilised and safe conversations - either by sending private emails, making phone calls or speaking face to face," Penny wrote in an impassioned post.
She continued: "Starting a social media pile-on is not only dangerous for the mental health of those involved, it is also leading to the cancelation of shows… and work for many our friends and colleagues who are already struggling."
"Let's change the way these issued are being raised. Xxx."

"Starting a social media pile-on is not only dangerous for the mental health of those involved, it is also leading to the cancelation of shows.'' (Image L-R: Instagram, TV WEEK/Are Media syndication)
Indeed the pair's ties go back to his Packed To The Rafters days with Hugh acting alongside Penny's younger sister, Jessica McNamee, who played Sammy on the show.
In October, Hugh revealed he was attracted to both men and women.
In a candid first-person essay published in Stellar Magazine, the 35-year-old explained that he didn't like "labels," but felt he had a "duty" to speak up and help those who may still be "figuring themselves out."
"In many ways, I wish I didn't have to write this, but I feel a responsibility to others who may come after me," he explained.
"People will read this and say, 'He's not coming out. He's bisexual. He's asexual. Or non-binary. Or queer. Or fluid.' There are all these words that didn't exist when I was younger and maybe if they had, they would have helped," Hugh penned.
"But the fact that these labels keep popping up indicate there must be a lot more people out there who feel how I feel – like the words still don't fit. Maybe this is also my way of letting people know that I'm still single, and everyone is on the smorgasbord."

Hugh is yet to comment on the postponement of the stage show, which was set to premiere in January 2021.
Meanwhile the Sydney Festival have confirmed all ticket holders will be refunded and released a statement, which read: "The values of equality and inclusivity have long guided the work of Sydney Festival. With these values in mind, the festival supports the producer's decision to postpone the January season of Hedwig and the Angry Inch."
Now To Love have reached out to Hugh Sheridan for comment.
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