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Why wont gay A-listers come out?

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  • babypook
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    #441932

    As the Closet Door Opens Wider, Where are the Gay Movie Stars? Published: July 08, 2012 @ 8:00 pm By Brent Lang

    Are there no gay movie stars?

    From Anderson Cooper to Jim Parsons, gay celebrities have been gently pushing open the closet door with shockingly little fanfare over the past year.

    Their statements have been so understated that a recent piece in Entertainment Weekly on the new politics of being publicly gay noted, “What was impossible 60 years ago and dangerous 40 years ago and difficult 20 years ago is now becoming no big deal.”

    That may be true, but there is one big exception. 

    In the nearly a decade since Tom Cruise won his second of two “I’m not gay” lawsuits in 2003, Hollywood movie stars remain uniformly heterosexual even as American society and public perceptions of sexuality have visibly changed.

    Also read: Anderson Cooper: ‘I’m Gay’

    Despite the recent matter-of-fact statements from the likes of Cooper, Parsons and Zachary Quinto, no A-list star on the level of a Brad Pitt or Robert Downey Jr. has come out, even though statistically it seems highly improbable that no major actor is gay. Meanwhile, the rumors and lawsuits that have dogged such actors as John Travolta or Cruise may lead the public to their own conclusions.

    Even emerging stars like Tom Hardy, who once implied that he had flirted with bisexuality, are quick to quash the rumors if they get out of hand.

     

    Getty Images

     

    “We don’t have a leading man who is out,” notes Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com and a publicist who has guided stars through coming-out announcements. “We don’t have anybody in a major professional sport. There is plenty of room to get further along.”

    Also read: Obama’s Gay Marriage Support a Hit in Hollywood, But Will It Help Fundraising?

    It seems there are still enormous pressures for big-name stars — especially those tied to romantic or action careers — to remain guarded about their sexuality.

    And there’s an added element: The international market is not as accepting as America is becoming.

    The movie business is a globalized enterprise, one that is increasingly dependent on foreign audiences. The question is less about America’s changing attitudes towards gays and lesbians, than the views of places like China, a country that boasts a big population of moviegoers, but one that is not exactly progressive when it comes to same-sex relationships.

    Also read: Dustin Lance Black Mulls Obama Fundraiser After Shift on Gay Marriage

    For the film business, not much has changed since “My Best Friend’s Wedding” star Rupert Everett told the Daily Mail in 2009 about his coming out: “It just doesn’t work, and you’re going to hit a brick wall at some point.”

    “The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business,” Everett said.

    Although Anne Heche made waves when she went public as Ellen DeGeneres’ girlfriend in the mid-’90s, her career faded along with their relationship, and the major movie actors who are openly gay remain supporting actors like Ian McKellen and Quinto.

    Hoping for some discussion on this.

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    eastwest
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    #441934

    One would think that this would be an issue for movie stars. I would’ve thought the coonery/buffonery of the rap community showing their assses would’ve happen w/Frank Ocean, but that hasn’t really been the case (minus that Lil’ Scrappy creature on TMZ). 

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    blueprint
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    #441935

    It’s a handicap for a movie career that’s for certain. The general public wants to see straight men in action films, as the main audience, heterosexual men, would have a hard time identifying themselves with the hero. Women aren’t different concerning this. If they knew that the guy kissing Kate Hudson likes other guys in reality, they wouldn’t buy the illusion. I don’t want to degrdade anyone, but that’s how it is.
    People seem to be a lot more accepting on TV. Maybe because it is regarded lower and not as illussionary as films.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #441936

    It’s all varying degrees of “gay panic,” in which the delicate sensitivities of some extremely insecure straight men or self-loathing closet cases are so threatened by gay men (or by the fear of being mistaken for gay themselves) that they over-compensate in the macho and homophobia departments. The movie industry tends to cater to these lowest-common-denominator types, just like the major sports leagues (e.g., the NFL), whose players wait until their careers are over before coming out of the closet, if at all.

    Ironically, straight actors like Sean Penn and Heath Ledger can play gay characters with little or no repercussion, but out gay actors are automatically deemed incapable of playing straight characters convincingly. I guess as soon as you come out of the closet, your acting skills suffer irreparable damage?

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    Gucci
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    #441937

    Why should an A-lister or anyone for that matter “come out” if he or she doesn’t want to?  Everything isn’t for everyone to know.  Plus, “coming out” could be detrimental to one’s career. 

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #441938

    Why should an A-lister or anyone for that matter “come out” if he or she doesn’t want to?  Everything isn’t for everyone to know.  Plus, “coming out” could be detrimental to one’s career. 

    Well, yes, it’s very shameful to be gay and much more lucrative to pretend to be straight. And gay A-listers should be quite content living a life of lies and shame and in fear of exposure. That sort of sums it up for you, right?

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    Graeme O’Neil
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    #441939

    Why don’t gay A-listers come out? Cause it would hurt their career. Plain and simple. Sure, they might get “support” and “well wishes” from people in the industry, but when it comes to business, they aren’t going to be called up to star in a big blockbuster.

    The more interesting question is why does there seem to be this idea that the media “turns a blind eye” and DOESN’T out some of these people? I mean Anderson Cooper has been open about it for years, just never said it in the press.
    Even with John Travolta’s recent scandal, there was no speculation of “is John Travolta gay?”

    And I’m not going to start naming names here, but I’ve heard casual stories of certain other stars, and yet it’s just brushed under the carpet. 

    I’m not saying media SHOULD be outing people. I just find it odd in this celebrity-obsessed culture where media outlets are constantly trying to get scoop and have breaking news, I don’t get why it’s never happened. 

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    babypook
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    #441940

    We as a collective humanity have not reached a level-one society. I can hope it happens during my lifetime, but there’s probably more chance of our moon plunging into our oceans.

    But I can control what I do, and what I do is accept that we are all brothers and sisters, and in this together.

    We are a strange species. Warring, brutal, stupid, sheep-like. But we are also compassionate, kind, understanding, and accepting.
    Fingers crossed.

    I realize my response sounds like generalized rhetoric, but it’s how I feel about this issue of acceptance. I’ve marched and I’ve debated, and I’ve tried to educate. It actually made a difference in several situations. Homophobia makes me feel sick inside.

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #441941

    One interesting and distressing case of the Hollywood closet is Luke Evans:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Evans_(actor) 

    Here’s an actor who was publicly out, started getting a career, and hurried right back in. He’s not a huge star, but when I found out he was an out gay actor who suddenly became not gay I was surprised. If he becomes a hugh celebrity, I wonder if his reps will find a way to straight-wash his entire history.

    Matt Bomer’s career is encouraging. He’s an out gay actor who remains a heartthrob to female audiences and plays straight roles, and nobody seems to have trouble accepting him in those roles.

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    Scottferguson
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    #441942

    Why?

    1) A sizeable chunk of the US movie-going public would have an issue with it, damaging the star’s career

    2) Even some of those who don’t have an issue since from time immemorial for the biggest stars, the screen persona is expected to parallel the off-screen one. It’s the nature of film acting/stardom that people assume their favorites are like themselves offscreen, even when in most cases (John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Cary Grant, many others) actually were vastly different, though they “played” that parallel role offscreen when in the public eye

    3) The US is fast becoming a minor player in BO for US-made films, and much of the rest of the world would have a bigger problem

    4) Financing is often achieved based on the cast. Risk-averse bankers will hold back on financing, not because of their own personal prejudices, but rather because until a big name star becomes a success after coming out, they’ll always be able to say, we won’t finance.

    That’s it in a nutshell.      

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    bruce melo
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    #441943

    Coming out should not be detimental to anyone’s career.  As far as I’m concerned, a person’s sexuality is as irrelevant as his/her religion, or hair colour, or choice of cuisine.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #441944

    ^Agreed. And I want to register a complaint against the U.S. film industry catering to the prejudices of bigots and to foreign countries where homosexuality is a crime or worse. There are so many films being made today, along with thousands of film classics, that we the viewing public have a choice when it comes to entertainment and we don’t need to subsidize films that discriminate against or ignore gay people.

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    Gucci
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    #441945

    [quote=”Gucci”]Why should an A-lister or anyone for that matter “come out” if he or she doesn’t want to?  Everything isn’t for everyone to know.  Plus, “coming out” could be detrimental to one’s career. 

    Well, yes, it’s very shameful to be gay and much more lucrative to pretend to be straight. And gay A-listers should be quite content living a life of lies and shame and in fear of exposure. That sort of sums it up for you, right?[/quote]

    No, sweetheart.  That is not what I’m saying.  It’s about personal choices.  Just because an A-lister decides not to “come out,” doesn’t mean he or she is ashamed or pretending to be heterosexual.  There are other things to consider.  I really don’t feel like typing a long paragraph on this issue.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #441946

    [quote=”Poubelle”][quote=”Gucci”]Why should an A-lister or anyone for that matter “come out” if he or she doesn’t want to?  Everything isn’t for everyone to know.  Plus, “coming out” could be detrimental to one’s career. 

    Well, yes, it’s very shameful to be gay and much more lucrative to pretend to be straight. And gay A-listers should be quite content living a life of lies and shame and in fear of exposure. That sort of sums it up for you, right?[/quote]

    No, sweetheart.  That is not what I’m saying.  It’s about personal choices.  Just because an A-lister decides not to “come out,” doesn’t mean he or she is ashamed or pretending to be heterosexual.  There are other things to consider.  I really don’t feel like typing a long paragraph on this issue.[/quote]

    I agree that a person’s sexual orientation is a personal matter and is not the business of ANYBODY but that person. On the other hand, show me a single mega movie star whose love life is NOT dissected by the popular press. They are all either married (like Tom and Katie were), shacked up (Brad and Angie), or serial monogamists (George and his latest girlfriend). Once they get to the top of the heap, gay A-listers either have to lie, or acquire a beard. And let’s call that what it really is: Pretending to be heterosexual. And that’s living a lie.

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    babypook
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    #441947

    Being gay is as ‘normal’ as being hetero. Take a look around, beginning with Nature and our fellow creatures.
    One day, my hope is that nobody will think otherwise, and that homophobia is as derided as racism, misogyny, ageism, and all of the ‘isms’ out there.
    Hope that “one day” is just around the corner for us all.

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