An article from The Star. Interesting, because what they say inside is not exactly what they claim in title IMO. It's more like: It's better, but still not good.
Gay actors no longer fear backlash about coming out
It was the year of “coming out” nonchalantly.
In 2012, three well-known actors, Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Matt Bomer (White Collar) and Zachary Quinto (Spock in the rebooted Star Trek franchise) sent a signal that being openly gay is no longer career suicide.
But does a pink-tinted glass ceiling remain for major romantic and action roles?
The Hollywood rumour mill has put Bomer on the short list — along with Henry Cavill and Ian Somerhalder, among others — to play the male lead in the upcoming movie version of the steamy soft porn novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. The role of Christian Grey, while definitely kinky, is also resolutely straight.
Novelist/screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis has called the idea of casting Bomer “ludicrous.”
“OK, I’ll say it. Matt Bomer isn’t right for Christian Grey because he is openly gay. He’s great for other roles but this is too big a game,” Ellis tweeted in August.
In October, romance novelist Jackie Collins posited that Bomer had lost out on a now-defunct Superman film in 2003 because studio executives wouldn’t cast a man who was not “out” per se but widely known in the industry to be gay.
Publicist Howard Bragman, who has helped 15 queer actors and sports stars over the past decade manage the “outing” process, said the decision is still a tough one.
“It’s not nonchalant. (Actors) may choose a nonchalant format to leak it out. But these are heart-wrenching decisions, they’re life-affecting, life-affirming decisions and most people struggle for many years before they come to these decisions,” said Bragman, vice-chair of Reputation.com and founder/chair of FifteenMinutes.com.
“So while the method oaf coming out may feel casual, the actual ‘coming out’ is anything but casual,” he added.
Matthew Breen, editor-in-chief of gay news magazine, The Advocate, agreed.
“I think it’s (coming out) probably getting easier but it’s still a barrier too high for a lot of actors,” Breen said.
Particularly for actors vying for big budget Hollywood movies, being open about their sexuality — and damn the consequences — isn’t necessarily an option, Breen said.
“With a studio and all the amassed forces behind an actor in a role, an actor is not always a man or a woman who has total command of his own world,” Breen said.
“There are a lot of people who have a lot of financial ties to big-ticket actors and there’s a lot of resistance within the Hollywood industry, which says ‘you can’t be perceived as a leading man or woman’ (if you’re gay),” he added.
Richard Ferraro, spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), said 2012 nonetheless marked an important step for queer actors.
“This was definitely a year in which we saw quite a few performers ‘come out’ publicly but with practically no backlash or fanfare. The increasingly matter-of-fact way that performers are addressing their personal relationships demonstrates that, more than ever before, fans are happy to accept them for who they are,” Ferraro said.
But Bragman said, noting that while Ellen DeGeneres has a hugely popular daytime talk show and Parsons and Bomer star in two high-rated television series, there is still no major film star — male or female — who wants to risk losing major roles by disclosing their sexual orientation.
“The opposite is true. You have certain movie stars who will sue you if you imply they’re gay. So we certainly have a way to go,” Bragman said.