Over the past week we’ve not only had to put up with Richard Chamberlain telling gay actors to stay in the closet, Kevin Spacey calling people who want him to come out “bullies”, Rupert Everett’s incessant whining about why no one will hire him because he’s gay. (Not that his rumoured drug problem, boorish behavior, and the fact that he’s burned more bridges than the Allied forces in WWII has anything to do with it.) and the return of hack writer Ramin Setoodeh — who famously declared that openly gay actors are not convincing in straight roles. All of it is BULLSHIT and all of it just feeds the fire of intolerance and does not expose it.
There are many reasons why openly gay actors aren’t cast in gay roles. One being that there aren’t many of them who are actually “out” and the second being that many don’t want to be cast in gay roles because they are afraid they’ll be pigeonholed and will only be cast in gay roles. Except for Rupert of course who will take any work that he can get.
Then we have the Sean Hayes argument that gay men can’t play straight. Well I am sorry to say this but some can’t. Not because they are gay but because they are lousy actors and anyone who saw “Promises, Promises” or any clips from it has to admit that in Hayes case it was definitely the later. He couldn’t convincingly play straight. Christen Chenowirth was butcher than he was. And there have been plenty of gay men in the past who have played straight roles it’s just that nobody knew it because they were hiding in the closet due to fear. And there are openly gay men playing straight. Let us not forget that Neil Patrick Harris playing straight horndog Barney on How I met Your Mother and no one is gayer than NPH! So it can be done…..if you actually have talent that is.
And as for Richard Chamberlain and his “Gay actors stay in the closet like I did until your career is dead and you can’t get any roles like I did” advice/ Here’s some news for you Dick. It was a much different time when you were BIG in Hollywood, and yes then there probably would have been a problem if you walked the red carpet with another man but guess what? Everyone knew you were a HOMO anyway! Just like people knew Rock Hudson, Liberace, Jim Nabors, James Whale, Colin Clive, and Randolph Scott among many others back in the day were gay, People did know they just didn’t talk about it. But it is a different time, a different CENTURY and as long as this fear is perpetuated in Hollywood not by the casting directors, producers the studios but by the closeted and in one case, a bitter out gay actor it will never get any better.
*This post is dedicated to CineMatt01