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Dustin Lance Black weighs in on closeted gay actors

Dustin Lance Black may understand the business reasons why gay A-list actors remain closeted but he has strong feelings about those who are blatantly dishonest.

‘I have no respect for someone who lies about their sexuality,’ he says in the new issue of Attitude.

‘At the very least say “no comment,” just keep your personal life personal. But if you’re going to closet yourself, that sends a negative message.’

Oscar winning screenwriter Black has never had any openly gay A-list actors portray any of the main roles in films he’d written.

Straight actors Sean Penn and James Franco were among those who played gay roles in Milk.

Then in J. Edgar, Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer played closeted gay characters.

Black, whose miniseries We Shall Rise premieres in March on ABC, blames the institutional homophobia mostly on agents and managers who don’t want to risk their star’s earning potential.

‘I’ve never encountered homophobia in casting from the studios or networks, not once, not ever,’ he says .

‘Where you encounter it is with the agents and the managers, they’re the ones who have an outdated notion of the price an actor might pay if it’s discovered that they’re LGBTQ… often they don’t want to see anything happen that might compromise their investment.’

Black thinks this hurts the actor personally and professionally.

‘I think they cripple their actors because they stunt the star’s ability to be open and honest, and an audience can feel that.’

FILE UNDER: Actors/Actresses


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2 Remarks

  1. In many way’s I have to agree with him on this. I say that in part because I look back on some of my favorites who have come out and yet still have good careers in the industry. For example, Neil Patrick Harris he came out in 2006 but even before that he was out among his family and friends. Just not publicly however once he did publicly come out it didn’t hurt his career. The sky didn’t fall. Matt Bomer again another one who seemed to live an open private life behind the tabloids but once he came out his career was still going strong. Its not just in Hollywood either but in the sports world as well. That seems to be one of the last area’s where the managers are afraid that being a gay athlete will hurt their career. Which for Robbie Rogers and Tom Daley that clearly not true both their career’s are going strong.

  2. Black is 100% correct on this issue from every angle, reason, justification & results that manifest. Hiding in the closet & flat out lying send a terrible message to the millions of youth who follow many actors or wonder if they might be gay examples to look up to, just like they are. Agents & their income needs to take a back seat to all the major SCOTUS rulings (Windsor, Obergefell, Perry, Lawrence etc) We won marriage equality & LGBTQ open acceptance and/or awareness (well narrated & portrayed by Noah Galvin in ABC’s “The Real O’Neals” & other shows/actors). Agents should undergo awareness/sensitivity training by LGBT attorneys as part of any representation contract, especially for minors/youth! With this political environment now, WE MUST RISE & force the hand of everyone in Hollywood to make LGBT as “normal” as sliced bread or Wheaties.

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