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Commentary: On Victor Garber and breaking the story the first time Jodie Foster kind of came out publicly

It’s been a little surreal the past 12 hours or so to see my story on Victor Garber getting so much attention.

Gay sites like Towleroad, Advocate, AfterElton and HuffingtonPost Gay Voices picked it up and played it bigger than even I did and now I see that it’s on USWeekly, People and the E!Online sites, among others.

I have to confess to having mixed feelings about it.

I’m not in the business of outing people and feel very strongly that people, whether they are famous or not, should come out whenever they are damned ready no matter what anybody says.

The reason I asked Garber the question about his partner was not because I wanted to out him and create a bunch of headlines. I genuinely thought he had come out publicly and that I had missed it. I wanted to clear that up and figured he would be the best source so I did ask him.

When he confirmed his longtime partner to me and didn’t say it was off the record, I thought a lot about what to do with his confirmation. As a journalist who covers entertainment and the LGBT world, I wasn’t about to not go with it in some way but I also did not want to go the sensational route.

I decided to hold onto the story for a week so it would run on a Monday, the day his NBC show Deception aired. The fact that it ran the day after Jodie Foster’s coming out was a coincidence.

I first casually included it at the end of a story I was writing for Gay Star News, a site for which I am Los Angeles correspondent. Then I wrote my own version of the interview for my site with the headline “How My Interview w/Victor Garber got interesting” and that’s what has been picked up everywhere.

The experience reminds me of something that happened back in 2007 when Jodie Foster received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at the 16th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

I was about two tables away from Foster and was covering the event for my then-employer, the LA Daily News. Towards the end of her speech, Foster thanked ‘my beautiful Cydney who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss.’

She was referring to Cydney Bernard with whom she had been with for several years and was raising two children.

I was sitting at a table filled with other journalists so I was sure the story would have gone viral by the time I got back to the office. It had not. No one had written a word.

So I did, featuring it in the daily page 2 column I used to do for the newspaper.

It was a nice scoop I suppose but it is something that happened in a room filled with people and I always found it odd that no one else wrote about it – that is until my story got out.

Until Sunday’s Golden Globes, that seems to have been the first and last time Foster alluded to her sexuality in a public way. This time she took things much further and everyone in that room, in the press room, and watching on television took notice.



(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

5 Remarks

  1. I was pretty sure I had heard that Jodie Foster had already come out, so when I heard her speech at the Golden Globes, I just thought it was nice. I was surprised that there was so much noise about her “coming out”. I thought it was old news already. I’m glad to read your article, and know I wasn’t imagining that I had heard that she had already come out before.

  2. Everytime I read about Victor’s story, it was all credited back to you! Talk about big time! You go, Greg!

  3. I think you reported it responsibly, and your reporting has always had a tinge of kindness to it, so there’s no malice there. He’s gay. It’s the reality, and he seems comfortable with it, which is great. In today’s day and age being gay is just hot news because people hide it. And now maybe a gay person out there who admires Victors work has another example to look up to because he chose to share that detail – if he didn’t want to he wouldn’t have.

  4. Wait…the guy who played Jesus in Godspell when I was a kid is GAY?

    Seriously, it saddens me that folks my age still have such a hard time coming out. It doesn’t change who they are. They are who they are. My kids’ generation understands this, and it’s time mine did, too.

    Thanks, Greg!

  5. I agree with Robert. Greg, you reported the facts about a Hollywood actor. There was no “GOTCHA” aspect to the story and if Mr. Garber had not been ready for the public to know, I am sure he would have asked to not to print it (and you would have respected that).
    Kudos to your reporting and for getting a bit of attention for it. Maybe all the press surrounding your ‘scoop’ will bring a few more eyes to your great blog. Congratulations!

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