From the Winnipeg Free Press via the Associated Press comes this article about the bias and stigma that still seems to be a part of Hollywood in casting gay actors:
LOS ANGELES — A new study suggests the proliferation of gay and transgender characters in films and television shows has not prevented gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors from experiencing discrimination in Hollywood.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists commissioned the survey. It found more than half of the actors who identify as gay, bisexual and transgender think directors and producers are biased against them.
More than one-third of the actors who don’t fall into those categories agreed with that perception.
Only 16 per cent of the gay, bisexual and transgender respondents, however, said they had experienced discrimination. Gay men reported the most, with about one-fifth saying they had been discriminated against.
The online survey of nearly 5,700 SAG/AFTRA members also found more than half of the gay, transgender and bisexual respondents had heard producers and directors make anti-gay comments while working on-set.
The performers’ union said it pursued the first-of-its-kind research at the request of a committee that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members.
Does gay really hurt an actors brand? Do production companies really think that when an audience sees a gay or lesbian actor is cast in a role that they can’t get past the actor’s in-person sexuality to get lost in the movie or story. Certainly there are straight, married actors that play romantic roles where their marital status doesn’t take break the illusion of the story. If it is a good script and a good actor that is all that should matter.
Or is it that gay will hurt the production companies brand. Do they fear a boycott or email action from one of the numerous anti-gay groups that are around the country who are always angry at one brand or another? Do they fear more conservative America viewing a production company as “pushing an agenda” or “indoctrinating” the public in some way by hiring LGBT actors? There are numerous shows with numerous gay content; families, vampires, teen kids and all these shows do well. This would seem to indicate the stigma is more perception and prejudice then something based in reality.