Hollywood Is Less Gay-Friendly Off-Screen, Report Finds
LOS ANGELES — A new study suggests the proliferation of gay and transgender characters in films and television shows has not prevented gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors from experiencing discrimination in Hollywood.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists commissioned the survey, released Friday. It found that more than half of the actors who identify as gay, bisexual and transgender think directors and producers are biased against them.
More than one-third of the actors who don't fall into those categories agreed with that perception.
Only 16 percent of the gay, bisexual and transgender respondents, however, said they had experienced discrimination. Gay men reported the most, with about one-fifth saying they had been discriminated against.
The online survey of nearly 5,700 SAG/AFTRA members also found that more than half of the gay, transgender and bisexual respondents had heard producers and directors make anti-gay comments while working on-set.
The performers' union, which is holding its annual convention in Los Angeles, said it pursued the first-of-its-kind research at the request of a committee that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members and as a methodical way to explore an issue usually discussed through anecdotes.
The study was conducted by the Williams Institute, a think tank based at UCLA that specializes in sexual orientation, gender identity and public policy.
"The survey results show both progress and indications that more work will be necessary to make the workplace an equal and fully welcoming place for LGBT performers," M. V. Lee Badgett, a University of Massachusetts, Amherst economics professor affiliated with the UCLA institute. "The good news is that almost no one thought that opportunities for LGBT actors were getting worse."
Of the 5,692 participants, 465 identified as gay men, 61 as lesbians, and seven as transgender. Another 301 men and women described themselves as bisexual.
The survey also revealed that despite concerns about being typecast, two-thirds of the gay actors who had played gay characters felt that it had not harmed their careers or limited the roles they were offered. Nine percent of the gay men and lesbians said they had been turned down for roles during the past five years because of their sexual orientations.
No problem. Just give list the names of the studios, directors, producers, etc. who treat gay people like dogs, and I will never pay a dime to them ever again.
Problem solved. For me at least.
This is why I do not blame actors who choose to stay closeted. Not everybody wants to be a posterboy, they just want to work.
Plus when someone comes out of the closet they are vilified
[quote]This is why I do not blame actors who choose to stay closeted. Not everybody wants to be a posterboy, they just want to work.
I really, truly believe that there is no hope for gay people.
Sorry Mr. Milk. Gay people worked against you.
I'm not denying the basic truth here, I'm sure it's 100% true, but we're talking about a survey of actors, and every single one of them is carrying multiple chips on their shoulder.
I suspect that if you polled them again and asked about discrimination against Blacks, Hispanics, women, the young, the old, the bald, the red headed, vegetarians, or actors who own cats, the results would be similar.
And everybody was going on about what Luke Evans is doing!
R6, what about the part where half these LGBTQ actors heard anti-gay slurs from producers, and directors while on set?
[quote]what about the part where half these LGBTQ actors heard anti-gay slurs from producers, and directors while on set?
I'm surprised by this. There are so many gays behind the scenes who are part of creating movies, it's a very gay world.
I'd like to hear from a more general 'Hollywood' demographic.
I'm so shocked and I care!
I don't find Matt Bomer to be particularly interesting or a good actor, but the other day I was wondering why he doesn't have any major endorsement deals lined up. He's very good looking and stylish...if he were "straight" he'd be on the cover of GQ and doing cologne ads.
I recall Rex Lee saying that people on the set of Entourage made homophobic "jokes" about him.
This report doesn't surprise me. It's a business and many don't care about doing what's right, they care about profit.
[quote][R6], what about the part where half these LGBTQ actors heard anti-gay slurs from producers, and directors while on set?
I'm sure they did. I'm sure if they were listening they heard jokes about Blacks, Mexicans, and every other variety of the human species. I'm sure they heard women called bitches and cunts, men called pricks, and 1001 other slurs and insults. Welcome to the real world.
I would point out that if they heard this shit ON SET they must not be discriminated to the point where they aren't getting hired and cashing paychecks, so cry me a river.
Do you have a job, R6? What workplace allows people to use language like that?
You want actors to come out in an non-gay-friendly industry? You want them to be unemployed. Fuck off.
It's not just homophobic straight people (though they are a source of the problem).
I've heard too many story from actor friends about gay casting agents, producers, even directors who might hear a gay actor read, and say:
"He seems a little... light."
"He's not quite ALPHA and aggressive enough."
"He doesn't have the right chemistry with [proposed female lead}"
This is how gay actors don't get work.
I'm a gay actor working in Hollywood. I'm one of the people who answered the survey.
I've always maintained the biggest source of anti-gay discrimination is gay male casting directors.
And R17 is exactly right -- there is coded language used to eliminate gay actors from consideration.
I'm a character actor so I've probably faced less discrimination than a leading actor would, but I know my career has suffered by coming out.
That said, I'm happy being out. I was miserable being closeted.
Hollywood's big problem is, in many ways, its self-hatred. They project it onto others, but they produce the cliche-ridden junk we all (used to) watch.
[quote] At another audition where I've been told not to be "flamboyant" in case you're wondering whether or not it's still 1944 in Hollywood.
R14 I seriously doubt racial slurs are the norm on sets. That gay actors--whether closeted, or out, have to listen to hets using anti-gay slurs and comments is beyond the pale.
You're defending the indefensible here, sunshine. So knock the chip off your shoulder, and get back to GayPatriot.
Thank you r22, the conservagays are the worst, really ruining this place.
Boy, I wonder if Jesse Tyler Ferguson realizes how lucky he is. He hit the motherload with Modern Family, ESPECIALLY as an openly gay actor. He'll never have to work again when that show ends in 2020.