Career Ending Homophobia Hollywood’s Deepest And Darkest Secret
May 20, 2014 1 Comment
What brought the writing was a comment made by actor Richard Chamberlain sometime after he “came out” and when discussing actors and actresses who are LG or B he offered the suggestion they should stay in the closet or risk their acting careers at least in Hollywood.
At the time that posting was one of the most read I had ever written and I thought it was lost when I deleted the previous edition of FOTR. But I have been pleasantly surprised to have found it as part of an article a friend of mine wrote on The Bilerico Project a few days after I wrote mine. Below the fold is a copy of the posting and with that in mind, these several years later and with some coming out in Hollywood, has it gotten any better or does homophobia still rear its ugly head among the movers and shakers of Hollywood magic.
While theater goers embrace actors and actresses who are openly gay and lesbian particularly on The Great White Way not so can be said of movie and television audiences, or so many in Hollywood would say. For the second time in as many years advice was given to actors and actresses, wannabees or actual, to stay in the closet as it can only hurt your career.
This of course is the shameful irony of Hollywood which for decades has been a champion through its films for the mistreated, discriminated against and persecuted.The idea that those in power who have the luxury to be out prefer the actors and actresses who without which there would be no movie, are told to lie and not be true to themselves and stay closeted until such time that every nickel and dime has been squeezed out of their performing years.
For all of the more read bloggers who write about LGBT injustice, I think I am one of the very, very few who has, and will continue to write about discrimination in Hollywood against gays, lesbians and bisexuals, not from the heterosexual powers that be, which of course is to be expected, but the ones who would have their own brethren stay in the closet forever.
If the audience knows the guy is gay, apparently it will kill the fantasy and no one will want to buy tickets. We hear it time and time again from the Hollywood power players and creative folks – both gay and straight – and we heard it again over the weekend at the Outfest Film Festival during a panel called Coming Out in Hollywood. And it’s very hard to change things when an openly gay writer-director such as Don Roos has issues with gays playing straight.
At Outfest three-time Emmy winning and openly gay director Todd Holland told a small audience that he advises young, gay male actors to “stay in the closet.” The remark came during a panel at the Directors Guild of America titled, “Taking It to the Streets: LGBT Directors Get Political.” Outfest, which pushes the slogan “protecting our past, showcasing our present, nurturing our future,” is one of the premiere gay and lesbian film festivals in the United States.
Holland who was one of the featured panelists and once worked as a director on the critically acclaimed HBO sit-com The Larry Sanders Show, explained that it’s a necessary career choice if a gay actor wants to succeed in Hollywood. Fellow panelist and filmmaker Kirby Dick, director of “Outrage”, a 2009 documentary about gay politicians who stay in the closet to further their political careers, told Holland, “I know where you’re coming from, but it’s a regressive argument”.
The LGBT bloggers who are so quick to throw President Obama under the bus and the activists who protest about DADT, if they would rally behind the discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals in Hollywood, then maybe, just maybe change would come. But then apparently that is not their ax to grind nor where they have a stake in the outcome.