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PR guru Howard Bragman talks about the pros and cons of gay actors being out

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LA Weekly’s Patrick Range McDonald broke the story over the weekend of out TV director Todd Holland said during an Outfest panel that he thinks young actors should stay in the closet in order to advance professionally.

Some people are outraged while others respect Holland for speaking his mind. McDonald talks to PR guru Howard Bragman – author of the terrific Where’s My Fifteen Minutes? – about the Hollywood closet in his LA Weekly Queer Town blog.

Bragman described Holland as “one of the good guys in the industry” talked about the reality of the showbiz closet: “It’s not in an agent’s interest to tell a client to come out of the closet. They don’t want to shake things up. Because, in the end, it’s all about money, and they don’t want anything to hurt the bottom line.”

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But he thinks times are changing with so many more high-profile out performers these days: “Girls don’t look at [Broadway star] Cheyenne Jackson (pictured left) and say, ‘He’s gay, I’m not turned on,’” Bragman explains. “They think he’s hot. They don’t care. We’re in a whole different world.”

Over the years, Bragman has helped actor Dick Sargent, basketball stars John Amaechi and Sheryl Swoopes, and politician Sheila Kuehl come out of the closet, as well as many others.

“What I always tell young actors is that they have to follow their heart,” Bragman says. “My personal shoes is that I would rather be out of the closet and be happy.”

Bragman adds, “In all the time I’ve helped people come out, I’ve never had someone tell me they were sorry about it.”

FILE UNDER: Controversy, Out Stars

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One Remark

  1. So nice to know that there are a few non-homophobic gays in the Hollywood machine. Bragman seems to be a level-headed, very wise man. We need more like him.

    Btw Greg I don’t always comment but I always read your blog. Thanks for all the effort and time and LOVE you put into it. It’s great!

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