I found some really interesting comments from a poster at the Henry Cavill IMDB board under the thread titled "What was the reasoning behind the staged supermarket photo op?". These comments are from a gay guy. He knows his stuff.
Post Edited: Wed Jul 10 2013 18:13 Lord, first Gina now this, and before that the controversial Ellen Whitaker. If I hadn't lived in L.A. for so long and known too many people in the "industry", I'd brush it off as nothing special. However, this is par for the course in P.R., especially with studio's banking $225 million on a fairly new actor and franchise reboot. It's interesting, I was speaking with a friend in marketing, and while reminiscing over the days when celebrity names were box office ticket items, he mentioned how that's changed. Names don't bring people in as much, it's all about viral marketing, merchandising, franchise.
This has prompted more concern over image as studio's are hiring lessor known actors as they negotiate for much lower fees and royalties in addition to contracts/riders than big names. The concern comes in from any "skeletons" the actor may have, new and cheap isn't without risk, just because names may not be bankable box office slam dunks, they can absolutely be failures in the face of public controversy.
Here comes the rub. Gay rumors plague a lot of male (and some female) celebrities for a reason: they're grounded in truth. Exhibit A: Henry Cavill has had gay rumors following him ~2004, when he lived between L.A. and N.Y.C. and openly dated fellow struggling American actor Corey Spears in West Hollywood. It wasn't uncommon in seeing them out and about. This posed a dubious issue, and in come the P.R. teams to "clean up" any image issues the mainstream public might take with the new rising star (see "Luke Evans" as a prime example). Pictures of Corey Spears and Henry were removed for "violation" rights, Corey "cleaned up" his social networking profiles, and Henry was thrust into mutually beneficial "romantic" relationships with up and coming women, most notably Gina Carano (who has had her share of gay rumors over the years).
Many believe Hollywood to be "liberal", I can assure you, the actors may appear as such but the producers, executives, CEO's - are extremely conservative. The "purse strings" call the shots, and many will not risk so much as a pimple on the face of their new bankable, $225 million dollar franchise leading man. It's not just "gay" rumors that plague celebrities and keep P.R. agents up at night, image in the face of drunk driving/alcoholism, personal beliefs/religion, drugs, "Mel Gibson" breakdowns - all are on P.R. houses lists of what not to promote. Sadly, being "gay" (or rumored to be) is worse than being a drug addict, the LGBT community faces the hardest battle in recent times for public acceptance and Hollywood will not risk their profits to stand behind an openly gay actor, especially on a billion dollar franchise. It's a shame that stunts such as these are staged, keeping the new franchise "it" actor in a good light for the public. That states more about humanity than anything, could women watch a blockbuster with an openly gay, hot, leading man? Could straight men (especially in the comic universe in this instance) rally around the new Superman is he was openly gay? You might claim, "sure! why not?!", I can assure you, the answer is generally no, and a risk Hollywood will not take.
On the heels of the success to "Man of Steel", the sequel is already under way, and Cavill's image has to be pristine to keep those ticket sales high. It disheartens me, as a supporter of equal rights for all, that general society will not accept a gay actor playing any role that isn't a gay stereotype. LGBT audiences haven't boycotted heterosexual actors playing gay roles, in fact most don't care, they've grown up with heterosexually flaunted at them form marketing and entertainment since childhood. It's important to realize this is a business, and as any business, image is everything.
So the next time you angrily dismiss the "is he gay" comment