GREG IN HOLLYWOOD

celebs! hugging! greg!

LATEST

GREG YOUR WAY

Take the feed! Subscribe

Get GIH news via Twitter

Follow Greg: Twitter Facebook

Greg on Flickr:

Must-see TV tonight: Gerald McCullouch on “House”

http://www.radaronline.com/sites/radaronline.com/files/photos/image_20110228/Gerald%20McCullouch-sm.jpgOut actor Gerald McCullouch, who recently wrapped up a several-months-long run in the play Daddy, guest stars on tonight’s episode of House on FOX.

The episode is titled “Temptation” and, brace yourselves, Gerald is playing a straight guy.

Whether he’s playing gay or straight, I’d watch Gerald read a telephone book so obviously I’ll be watching!

Check out the trailer:

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Look who Teddy reunites with on tonight’s “90210″

Alan Ritchson international jock underwear shirtless swimsuit

At last, there is a new episode of The CW’s 90210 airing tonight. The gang from West Beverly is on spring break and Teddy (Trevor Donovan) hooks up with an old flame played by the hunky actor who is pictured here named Alan Ritchson.

TV Line has the details: It’s important to acknowledge that yes, Teddy’s lip-lock with spring break fling Tripp (Ritchson aka Smallville‘s Aquaman) is totally strange because of how the two actors favor each other. “It’s weird that we look similar,” Trevor says with a laugh. “It’s also weird that I’ve known Alan for six years! He texted me, ‘Hey buddy, looks like we’re getting it on.’ So yeah, I had mixed feelings about it, but it ended up being fine. We treated it real lightly.” Now, about that hot hookup…. “Teddy runs into an old roommate of his from private school, they reminiscence about being womanizers until Teddy can’t handle it anymore and tells Tripp he’s gay,” Donovan dishes. “Turns out, Tripp’s gay too, and we have a little fling.” We won’t detail what happens in the aftermath, but the result is this: “Teddy learns that he doesn’t want to be the player-type anymore.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Out director Bryan Singer reflects on mistakes he thinks he made directing “Superman Returns” starring Brandon Routh

http://www.grouchoreviews.com/content/interviews/142/3.jpg

http://l.yimg.com/eb/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/superman_returns/_group_photos/brandon_routh3.jpgThe 2006 Brian Singer-directed film Superman Returns was supposed to re-start the Superman franchise in much the same way Christopher Nolan did with Batman and the films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

But after the initial film, which grossed just under $400 million worldwide, star Brandon Routh did not suit up again as the Man of Steel (and boy, did he look good in that suit!).

Director Bryan Singer reflected on the film – and what he feels were its shortcomings, in a recent interview with VoicesFromKrypton.com. “I think that Superman Returns was a bit nostalgic and romantic, and I don’t think that was what people were expecting, especially in the summer,” Singer said.What I had noticed is that there weren’t a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see The Devil Wears Prada, which may have been something I wanted to address. But when you’re making a movie, you’re not thinking about that stuff, you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.’ And that’s what I did.”

Singer still says he’s “proud” of the film.

“There are a bunch of movies I’ve made where I’m, like, ‘Yuck, that was weak’ or ‘That could’ve been better,’ and I can see why. But with Superman Returns. … If I could go back, I would have tightened the first act.”

http://theskippyreview.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/bryan-singer-superman-returns.jpg

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Chely Wright talks to Greg In Hollywood about her activism and the unfortunate Jake Gyllenhaal joke on the Country Music Awards

photoI’ve written a lot about singer  Chely Wright in the past year but had never met her.
That changed on Saturday night when we chatted on the red carpet at the An Evening of Women event benefiting the women’s programs at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.
The country music singer, whose biggest hits are Single White Female and Shut Up and Drive, came out publicly last year has announced her engagement to LGBT civil right activist Lauren Blitzer who was with her at the event over the weekend.
They plan to be married in Connecticut Aug. 20.
I wanted to know how her life had changed since her very public coming out last year and Chely told me she is busier than ever because she’s not only an country music artist, she’s also an in-demand LGBT activist.
Chely Wright meets Cyndi Lauper at An Evening With Women event

“My advocacy opportunities are plentiful,” said Chely (pictured meeting Cyndi Lauper on Saturday). “I could work seven days a week with these opportunities to be talking about LGBT issues. It’s a big balance for me. I am a musician, I feel that is what I was born to do but now I have these amazing opportunities that I feel like I fought for. My life is very full and very busy. Before, when I was hiding, I was tired and it was a bad tired. Now I’m tired and it’s a good tired. This is a good reason to wear myself out and burn the candle at both ends. I feel like I’m making progress in initiating progress in a genre of music where the dialogue had never been anything but a rimshot or a da-dum-dum joke.”

I then brought up the recent Academy of Country Music Awards where Jake Gyllenhaal was the brunt of a gay-themed joke during the opening monologue by hosts Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire.
“I understand what humor is about,” Chely said. “But I think at this point, where we are with the civil rights of LGBT people, I don’t think any type of gay joke ever getting a laugh is appropriate. Right now when young people are afraid to be the butt of a joke, I don’t think it’s ever appropriate for that to get a laugh.”

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Monday Morning Man: Erik Fellows!

Erik Fellows Actor Erik Fellows arrives at the CW & AT&T's "Melrose Place" premiere party on Melrose Place on August 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.The handsome Erik Fellows most recently played Troy Winston on the NBC soap Days of Our Lives.
But before that regular gig came along, he did guest spots on such shows as CSI: New York and NCIS: Los Angeles. and appeared in the films American Cowslip and Rounds. Coming up next is a role in the film The List.
Erik moved to New York City at 19 after a friend who knew an agent told him they thought he had the look. That marked the beginning of a successful modeling career that led to acting.
The part Italian and Swedish actor has also appeared in a few music videos including Jennifer Lopez’s Me Haces Falta and Katharine McPhee’s Love Story.
Erik Fellows
http://content6.flixster.com/photo/11/05/99/11059980_tml.jpghttp://www.roadtomoloch.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/erikfellows-200x300.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2510/3848496103_e1734cc01d.jpg
http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/15200000/erik-fellows-erik-fellows-15248395-250-250.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/_urSBi03TtGA/TFd7cjEJUHI/AAAAAAAAAeg/_ws4LoiimKg/s320/Erik+Fellows+Image+7.jpg
http://static.lookbooks.com/files/profile_media/4a1c76b3-2e10-4990-b404-5fce4b7db902/lg_4a1c7914-b13c-40dc-ab6a-62194b7db902_1243379988_la_models-erikfellows-23822.jpg
http://images2.fanpop.com/image/polls/362000/362719_1264092780173_full.jpg
FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

Geri Jewell’s touching speech at TV Land Awards

Geri Jewell and Nancy McKeon - 9th Annual TV Land Awards - ArrivalsDid you watch last night’s TV Land Awards?
I did and really enjoyed them. The highlight for me was seeing the reunion of the cast of The Facts of Life and that newly out Geri Jewell, who played Blair’s cousin Geri on the show, was invited to accept the award along with Charlotte Rae, Lisa Welchel and Nancy McKeon (pictured with Geri) as well as Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn and Cloris Leachman.

Geri gave the best speech of anyone in the group saying.:“When I was a kid, I was made fun of a lot and ridiculed. And my escape was television. And I lived for television. And I wanted to be an actress, I wanted to be a comedienne. And they cast me in this wonderful show, Facts of Life, and it was the first time in my life that kids weren’t afraid of me when they saw me, but they wanted my autograph. And I am so proud to be a part of that.”

Factsoflife

FILE UNDER: Awards

Kobe Bryant talks about his anti-gay slur: “What I said was ignorant and I really didn’t realize what I was saying.”

Kobe Bryant Profile Kobe Bryant ProfileTowleroad.com has a link to an ESPN interview with Kobe Bryant who, at last, goes beyond his brief apology made last week after he called a referee an anti-gay slur during a recent Lakers game.

Here is part of what he had to say: “Even though I didn’t mean it that way, I’ve since learned what that word still means to a lot of people. I went on-line myself and I did my own research and I saw and I read about kids who were committing suicide because of being teased for who they are. I don’t play that. I used to beat up a lot of kids even in high school who used to tease my friends because they were gay, or because they were black, or because they were Jewish, or because they were yellow, or because they were whatever. For people who don’t think my apology is sincere, they don’t know me. This isn’t over for me. I really plan to do more. What I said was ignorant and I really didn’t realize what I was saying. Now that I do and realize how it affects people I really plan to do more and to help with the awareness.”

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Snapped! Neil Patrick Harris tweets sweet photo of partner David Burtka and their babies!

4btib.jpg
Neil Patrick Harris
ActuallyNPH Neil Patrick Harris
Relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. My heart is full of love
FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Cyndi Lauper tells Greg In Hollywood how disappointed she is in Donald Trump’s stance on LGBT equality

http://www.starsentertainment.com/media/k2/items/cache/2964cd8751427f56b2f06582b92bec36_M.jpg

http://johnporcaro.typepad.com/blog/040221_Trump_hd.hmediumCyndi Lauper was an absolute  sensation at last night’s Evening With Women event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The singer and LGBT activist ended the evening – which raised more than $500,000 for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center – with a three song set that included True Colors and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

I’ll be posting more about the event later today.

But I first wanted to share with you a bit of a chat I had with Cyndi before the event began. She had appeared on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice last season to raise money for her True Colors Fund which benefits LGBT advocacy groups and works to raise awareness of LGBT issues like youth homelessness.

So she found Donald Trump’s recent remarks that he is against gay marriage to be especially hurtful. (Trump said on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor about same-sex marriage: “I just don’t feel good about it, I don’t feel right about it.”)

“We make strides and then they take it away,” she said sadly. ”I went on Trump, he embraced me and my charity and then he turned around and nullified everything. It broke me heart. I couldn’t believe it. It hurt my feelings so much.”

Cyndi said it appears that Trump, who has been getting a lot of attention as a possible Republican candidate for president, is doing what others in the party have done in the past.

“They use the gay community, the LGBT community to distract everybody and to say the gays this and that and it’s really a crock,” she said. “A lot of people who say things like that have people in their organization who are from the community who are the people who help make them successful.”

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Showtune Sunday: A quartet of numbers from Carol Channing who is the focus of a new documentary!

http://anthonygeorge.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/carol-channing.jpegI’ve been lucky enough to see the great Carol Channing at many events in recent years – including watching her perform her one woman show at The Magic Castle in Hollywood – and I can assure you that at 90, she’s still going strong.

Her longtime publicist, Harlan Boll, is the co-producer of the documentary Carol Channing: Larger Than Life with director/producer Dori Berinstein. Harlan tells me the film has been selected as a “Spotlight” film at the Tribeca Film Festival and premieres on April 23rd. It then heads to the Canada Film Festival, before hopefully going to the Los Angeles Film Festival.

The film features interviews with Lily Tomlin, Barbara Walters, Lee Roy Reams, Tommy Tune, Jerry Herman, Chita Rivera, Bruce Vilanch, Tippi Hedren, Phyllis Diller, Margaret O’Brien, Loni Anderson, Marge Champion, Bob Mackie, Debbie Reynolds, Tyne Daly, Rich Little, JoAnne Worley, Carole Cook, Mary Jo Catlett, and so many others including a remarkable interview with Carol’s NY roommate, Betty Garrett.

Here are some numbers by Miss Channing, a Tony winner for Hello Dolly and Oscar nominee for Thoroughly Modern Millie, to remind us all of what a great star she is:



FILE UNDER: Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: Brian Kerwin!

Young Brian Kerwin

http://images2.cinema.de/imedia/1454/1841454,mwwVSKBLYdSXLSgtnhvuL7Lvb4TTI6CFHqvQp_Sk3CvF2+vAiKmm1+RPUSOylW3ydI7b1YEndyg5VqBRvk4Q8g==.jpg

It was disappointing to find out that Brian Kerwin, nominated for a Daytime Emmy last year for his performance as Charlie on One Life to Live, was being written off of the show.

But then just days later, we learned that the entire show was being canceled and will end its four-decade run in January.

I’ve had a big crush on Brian ever since seeing him in 1983′s big screen version of Torch Song Trilogy as Harvey Feirstein’s hunky blond boyfriend who seduces Harvey’s current boyfriend (played by Matthew Broderick) on top of bails of hay inside a barn. (see photo and video below).

Since then, some of my favorite things he has done are his two season run on Showtime’s Beggars and Choosers (puleeze put it out on DVD already!) and his role opposite Sally Field in Murphy’s Romance. He’s done many other movies, television guest spots and starred on Broadway in The Little Foxes, After Night and the Music, and August: Osage County.

Brian is 61 now but back in the mid-70s, he was just coming off his first soap role on The Young and the Restless and was about to star in NBC’s The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo and did this interview with Rona Barrett’s Gossip magazine. Here is an excerpt:

Q: Do you find that some people assume you’re not much of an actor or even dumb because you have those all-American good looks?

Brian: So what’s wrong with a pretty face? (Laughs.) I don’t think I’ve gotten anywhere with my looks. I was checking the mirror this morning and my hair’s coming out in handfuls back there. A bald all-American boy! (Laughs.)

Q: Have you ever run into the so-called “Hollywood casting couch” syndrome?

Brian: I’ve only run into it once. On a gay level. It was just one guy. A casting director. I’m not very naive, but I did accidentally lead the guy on because…well, I’d met the guy once before and he’d never made any moved toward me. I had just had some new photos taken and I was looking for wark. It was a hot summer day and I’m wearing these cut-offs that were ripped up the sides and I’m delivering pictures all over town to all the casting directors. I walked into this guy’s office in Studio City and said, “I’d like you to look at my new pictures.” And he said, “Well, sit down, Brian.” And it was just talk, talk, talk. It went very well. He seemed to like me very much and I felt great. I didn’t suspect anything. But when I got up to leave, the guy stood up in front of me and said, “I just thought that I ought to tell you that I think you’re a really sexy guy.” And I said, “Oh?” And then he said, “I hope you don’t mind that.” Considering myself cool, I said, “No..uh, I don’t mind that at all.” And then I walked out. And by five o’clock that evening, I had been invited to dinner, a movie, and a weekend at Zuma Beach! (Laughs.)

http://www.briankerwin.net/articles/playgirl1.jpg

http://dwallssaywhat.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Brian_Kerwin.jpg
http://www.briankerwin.net/images/headshot.jpg

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

Lunch Break Video: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer talk about their storied rivalry and friendship

http://www.blogstodiefor.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/rafael-nadal-roger-federer.jpgI’m bummed out that Roger Federer lost yesterday in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo tournament. He was two matches away from meeting his great rival Rafael Nadal in the finals.

Hopefully these two great champions, who have won a whopping 25 grand slam titles between them (16 for Federer, 9 for Nadal) will meet plenty of time this year.

In this video from the ATP Tour, the rivals and friends talk about their relationship on the court and off.

Enjoy!

Glee’s Santana is “definitely a lesbian”

http://nrmurph.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/santana-2.jpgWhen it comes to queer characters on Glee, we obviously have focused a lot on Kurt (Chris Colfer) since day one and now on Blaine (Darren Criss).

But ever since the character of Santana (Naya Rivera) was seen making out with her friend Brittany (both wearing their cheerleading uniforms), we’ve wondered about their sexuality. Brittany was just experimenting but for Santana, it was more serious.

“She’s definitely a lesbian,” producer Brad Falchuk tells EW.com.

The magazine adds that Santana won’t be over Brittany anytime soon, so instead of dealing with it, she kind of runs from it. And she’ll be running into the arms of…a dude.

http://thinkwhatyoulike.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/britsanta.jpg

FILE UNDER: Glee

More names from The Advocate’s “Forty Under 40″ revealed and they include photographer Jeff Sheng

JEFF SHENG X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

A few days ago, I shared part one of The Advocate’s 40 Under 40 list and now here is the rest of the list. There are some impressive folks including photographer Jeff Sheng who has done some amazing work with his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” series which shows gay and lesbian service members with their faces hidden.

“It had a really profound effect, more than I ever imagined when I started,” he says. Once repeal is implemented, he plans to do a photo book revealing the subjects’ identities. Sheng, whose work includes a series on gay athletes, also has plans for one featuring LGBT adults who attempted suicide as teens. He thinks it will have a profound effect as well, with audiences seeing people who were “a razor blade away from that.”

In addition to Sheng, other Advocate honorees include Arizona state senator Kyrsten Sinema, World traveler Daniel Baylis, Producer, writer Savannah Dooley, Nonprofit executive Glennda Testone, Film marketing executive Eric Carr, Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio, and documentary filmmaker Yoruba Richen.

Here is a LINK to part 2 of the 40 Under 40.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Saturday Morning Man: Jeff Timmons!

http://www.jimbrickman.com/Portals/0/images/artist300_jeff.jpg

http://www.estergoldberg.com/.a/6a0105349ca980970c014e60bd8fd7970c-500wiJeff Timmons is one of the founding members of the pop group 98 Degrees and has just joined the Vegas show Chippendales as a stripper at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

The Grammy-nominated group, which had such hits as the The Hardest Thing, I Do (Cherish You) and Because of You, enjoyed a strong run from 1998 through 2002 before going their separate ways.

So will there ever be a reunion?

“We had talked about it for the first time in a long time a few months back, but we just couldn’t get it together,” Jeff said in a recent interview with Celebuzz. “Everybody had different things that they wanted to do still. It’s still out there but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. I think we have seen what New Kids and Backstreet Boys are doing, and they’ve had a fantastic run tour wise. It looks like it could be a great opportunity but we just couldn’t pull it together this time. But it’s not off the table. Just not right now.”

Jeff, 37, has released two solo albums and was part of the VHI reality series Mission: Man Band.

Being such a hunk, he obviously has a solid gay following.

“I’m flattered to have a following at all,” he told Celebuzz. “If I have a huge gay following I’m totally cool with that. 98 Degrees had a big gay following. We would go overseas to places like Germany and go to a club that was an exclusively gay club. It’s all about getting in front of your fan base and performing. In fact, my first solo show was for a Chicago Gay Pride festival.  I’ve never had a problem with it. I’ve embraced it. I’m pretty sure everyone has good intentions, regardless of what they look like or what they prefer sexually.”

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/81/233806041_294445b7c9.jpg

http://en.academic.ru/pictures/enwiki/74/Jeff_timmons_whisper.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LRizzwzvZE0/SwShCqY_eHI/AAAAAAAAAFQ/I8Sg58i0jQw/s1600/clip_image002.jpg

http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs148.snc1/5520_102320336374_524141374_2188347_2096935_n.jpg

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

In new episode “Then We Got HELP,” bisexual Vance brings his boyfriend Scott to group therapy

Nicholas Rodriguez<br> (© Annette Tanner)After a one week hiatus, the terrific web series Then We Got HELP returns with a new episode.

In episode five of season two, the new character of Vance (Eric Anderson) returns. He’s the bisexual man who previously attended the weekly therapy group with his girlfriend. This time, he’s with his boyfriend played by Shane Jacobsen. (The three of them live together!)

The two actors are a delicious addition to the show. Creator and co-star Julie Emery tells me that she and Jacobson did a movie together last summer. Says Julie: “I just absolutely love the relationship he and Eric Anderson have created together. … He absolutely surpassed my expectations when I cast him.  And my expectations were high.”

Secrets are revealed when Anna subjects the group to Lao Tsusian Dream Analysis and one of my favorite moments is when Dan (played by Nicholas Rodriguez – pictured, above) talks about his dream which involved his boyfriend Eric (played by Blake Hammond who is absent from this episode).

http://content8.flixster.com/photo/11/32/64/11326498_tml.jpgOn another note, Julie reports that that Darren Le Gallo (he is engaged to Amy Adams) has signed on to appear in the remaining episodes of Season 2.

Says Julie: “He is such a great actor and I love what his presence has added to Emily’s story line, as well as the rest of the show.”

FILE UNDER: Web Shows

Anderson Cooper’s daytime show gets a home base

http://turbo.indyposted.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/anderson-cooper.jpgAnderson Cooper is going to soon be juggling his CNN show Anderson Cooper 360 with his new syndicated show simply called Anderson.

So how is he going to pull off this double duty?

Anderson, set to debut Sept. 12, will be taped at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Allen Room, located in New York’s Time Warner Center — which also houses his CNN show.

The location of the show will allow The Silver Fox the opportunity to “take to the streets” and talk with pedestrians.

Said Anderson in a statement: “It is an amazing space, and I am really excited to be taping the show there. It is a beautiful theater, and totally unique. It allows me to have great interaction with the studio audience and great access to the streets and people of New York.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Surprise elimination on “American Idol”

AMERICAN IDOL, Final 8, Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald, Srefano Langone, Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, James DurbinWell, this is not going to cause outrage like last week’s voting off of Pia Toscano but I was pretty darned surprised at how things went down on American Idol last night.
And if you do not know who was eliminated yet, STOP READING NOW and watch the show already!
Anyway, one of my favorite contestants was voted off and I’m really going to miss him! He’s Paul MacDonald, the guy with the Rod Stewart raspy voice and blindingly white teeth.
What I really loved tonight was that after he learned of his fate, Paul kept his composure and an upbeat attitude.
Jennifer Lopez then asked Paul to perform Maggie May and he sang the hell out of it and made the most of his moment in the spotlight.
I hope he has a lot of success in the future because I want to see more of him – and his white teeth!
http://cdn03.okcdn.okmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Paul_McDonald_Feb24news.jpg
Paul McDonald American Idol Finalist Paul McDonald attends Fox's "American Idol" Finalist Party on March 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
FILE UNDER: Reality

Friday Morning Man: Eric Decker!

http://www.gq.com/images/style/2010/11/eric-decker/eric-decker03.jpgI came across some photos of hunky wide receiver Eric Decker while checking out the “King of the Hardwood” finalists over at Outsports.com.

This 24-year-old Denver Bronco is a candidate to replace Tom Brady as the hottest looking guy in the National Football League! (If Tom cuts that long hair, he may be able to hold onto his crown a little longer).

Eric is from Spring, Minnesota and was drafted by the Broncos in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

I hope he has a long and successful career in the NFL and always finds the time to do a little modeling on the side!

He’s a natural.

File:Eric Decker 2010.JPG

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lhvnlvZeud1qcvq4wo1_500.jpg

http://i596.photobucket.com/albums/tt49/Imrahil/Men/EricDecker2.jpg

http://towleroad.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c730253ef0133f543260d970b-500wi

http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lbofaaNBM81qe6vsbo1_r1_500.jpg

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

Gay former NBA player John Amaechi wants Kobe Bryant to “do something good” after gay slur

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ZI-z_6xAGbo/TOz7YSVa26I/AAAAAAAABdc/7r9FEQPiXhA/s400/John+Amaechi.jpgIt’s very interesting to get John Amaechi’s reaction to Kobe Bryant’s gay slur and its aftermath since John is the only former NBA player to ever come out publicly as a gay man.

He talked to USA Today about the situation and, I think, has some good advice for Kobe.

Q: What was your first impression when you heard Bryant’s remark?

A: I’m surprised that people are surprised. This is common language when I played. It was an everyday word that I heard. I haven’t seen anything new put in place (by the NBA) to tackle homophobia. There’s no reason for it to somehow get better.

Q: And what do you think of Bryant’s statement of “apology”?

A: I suppose that’s the typical, “I apologize if you’re offended”‘ type of comment. I doubt very much when he said that that he thought Bennie was a pile of sticks. There’s only one contemporary meaning for that.

The problem we have now is because of the way we don’t address homophobia, the ultimate insult to a man is to tell them either they’re like a woman or worse, that they’re gay.

We have to take it as unacceptable as a white person screaming the N-word at a black person. … I can tell you that I’ve been called a f——- fairly routinely, and yet people seem to hold off on calling me the N-word. We’ve got to mirror that progress.

http://cdn.pimpmyspace.org/media/pms/c/un/nl/lo/obe_bryant.jpgQ: Q: Do you think the remark makes Bryant homophobic?

A: The reason it’s difficult is because of how influential he is. When he talks, not just young people but sports fans in general listen. They mimic. He sets a tone that says, “This is acceptable language when you are frustrated.” It isn’t acceptable language. That’s the larger extent of the damage. That’s like a Glenn Beck non-apology. With a few more words well-chosen he could do some good.

I don’t think he is any more homophobic than the average person, or most certainly your average person in sports. When you’re in the spotlight, when a camera is trained on your face on a daily basis, you don’t have the luxury of losing control. When you do, I like to see people be a little more contrite than that.

Given so much news media attention being paid to this, is that a sign the climate is changing?

A: There’s certainly more attention on the fact that it shouldn’t be used but is too frequently. But I was watching the video clip of it, and there was no particular outrage from the announcers (Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller, Kevin Harlan of TNT). They were simply saying, “The cameras should come off his face now.” When somebody says the N-word it’s like the air is sucked out of a room, or an arena.

FILE UNDER: Controversy