Billy Eichner has a big problem with Queen Latifah
When Billy Eichner played a game called ‘Queen Latifah or Brave Person’ in 2015 on an episode of Billy on the Street, he meant what you probably thought he meant.
He meant to imply that the Oscar-nominated actress is a lesbian who refuses to come out publicly.
‘It’s not like I was intending to completely obliterate Queen Latifah,’ Eichner says in an interview with Vulture.com this week.
‘I think Queen Latifah is very talented. I’m sure she’s lovely. But there is one aspect of her life I find frustrating and a tad backward. That was what that game was about, and I was more than happy to put that on the air because I think that is a statement that needs to be made.’
Eichner has been openly gay since the start of his career and says he realizes ‘everyone’s life experience is different.’
‘I do take for granted, probably, the fact that I grew up in New York City, one of the most liberal places on earth, with bleeding-heart, liberal parents who took me to see Rent and Terrence McNally plays from a very young age. So my view of this whole topic is skewed, because I am one of the lucky ones.
‘With that said, I do think that if you can come out, you should come out. I personally think it’s the right thing to do. And at this point, there’s really not much stopping you from coming out of the closet as an actor.’
He adds: ‘What does bother me is when you see a closeted celebrity say, “Oh, I just don’t talk about my personal life.” Okay, but what about your ten-page spread in Architectural Digest? Or your multiple profiles in People magazine about every other aspect in your life? I don’t buy that for a second. We’re all on our own journey, and I respect that. But maybe reconsider your journey? [Laughs.]‘
Latifah remains steadfastly private about her sexuality.
Some thought she might come out Last year when she won a GLAAD Media Award for the HBO film Bessie which she starred in as the bisexual singer Bessie Smith and also executive produced.
Instead, she dedicated the award to the LGBTI people in her family including ‘my cousins who are gay’ and her aunt, ‘a lesbian who raised me … my inspiration. (She) taught me how to be a loved person.’