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Kate Winslet gave an interview in early April to The Times cultural magazine in which she claimed to know “at least four actors” who have not made their homosexuality public for fear of damaging their career.
According to Kate Winslet, “I cannot tell you the number of young actors I know — some well known, some starting out — who are terrified their sexuality will be revealed and that it will stand in the way of their being cast in straight roles.”
“That’s fucked up,” he apostilled.
“I’m telling you. A well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, ‘I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn’t publicize that.’ I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality.”
According to Kate Winslet, this stigma affects “men more than anything. It’s bad news.”
Judging by how the press has reacted to these statements by Winslet, they don’t seem like such bad news, as they have led to big headlines and chest thumping against homophobia. But are these statements credible, and is today’s Hollywood -not 1950’s Hollywood- as hostile to homosexuals as Winslet and the press would have us believe?
Kevin Spacey has 2 Oscars; Sir Ian McKellen has been Magneto and Gandalf; Ezra Miller is The Flash in Justice League; Luke Evans has starred in Dracula, and been in The Hobbit and Fast & Furious sagas; Zachary Quinto is Dr. Spock himself. And all of them are openly gay.
Jim Parsons’ Golden Globe and 4 Emmys -the well-known Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory- are not exactly a sign of hostility and homophobia either. Even less are the Emmy and Tony awards given to Neil Patrick Harris in line with Kate Winslet’s narration.
The case of Neil Patrick Harris is the one that most clashes with the homophobic apocalypse described by Kate Winslet. His most popular role is Barney Stinson -from the series How I Met Your Mother- and he is the most actively heterosexual character of all imaginable heterosexual characters and has been played -masterfully, by the way- by one of the most openly gay actors in existence.
What might Winslet’s statements be due to?
It turns out that Kate Winslet is promoting her new film, Ammonite, a romantic drama about a 19th century British paleontologist and her lesbian lover.
Unlike Kate Winslet’s account of alleged discrimination against gay actors playing heterosexuals, what we have been witnessing lately are attacks by the LGBTQIA+ community against actors or actresses who pretend to be gay, bisexual, or transgender without being gay, bisexual, or transsexual, which is what acting is all about.
Faced with this criticism, what many actors have done is to cringe, and succumb to the pressure of the gay lobby. Scarlett Johansson gave up a role as a transgender mobster in the movie Rub & Tug. Halle Berry did the same and apologized for her lack of sensitivity in pretending to do her job as an actress acting as a transsexual.
Glenn Close also joins the trend and says that transgender roles should be given to transsexuals. Darren Criss -from the series Glee-, who being straight has played several homosexuals, says that from now on he won’t take any more roles away from homosexuals. And Lucas Grabeel, from High School Musical, thinks that being straight he has more opportunities than gay actors, and that’s why he won’t accept more gay roles.
According to this curious logic, on the one hand it is terrible and painful that homosexual actors are discriminated against when it comes to playing heterosexuals, but on the other hand it is commendable and should be promoted that heterosexual actors are discriminated against for homosexual roles. Fascinating.
Perhaps Kate Winslet has made these statements to put the bandage before the wound and ingratiate herself with the gay lobby How to criticize her for her role as a lesbian being straight, if she is a strong advocate of the cause, and denounces how unfair Hollywood is to homosexuals?
“A conversation about straight actors in gay roles is incredibly important,” asserted Kate Winslet. “I hope there will come a time when it is automatic that [gay] actors get those parts and you wouldn’t have to put punchy film stars in to get it made.”
Perhaps, Kate, it’s more important to stand up for the freedom of actors to do their jobs on their merits, and not have to face these unhinged attacks and casting demands based on quotas and positive discrimination. But relax, we understand that it’s much more comfortable to accuse Hollywood of homophobia, so in general and unspecifically, than to risk being cancelled by the queer Twitter mob.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm