Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Every Man in Hollywood is Gay
The tabloids and blogs have had a field day these past two weeks over some new "Travolta is gay" accusations that have since been refuted and charges dropped but where there's smoke there's fire and all that. It's still scandalous and shocking for most people. Well, not as much that he's gay as he sexually harassed some masseuses, but the fact that Travolta is gay doesn't really surprise anyone. He's been dogged by the rumors since Saturday Night Fever, and to be honest it's much more surprising that so many male actors in Hollywood are supposed to be heterosexual. As forward thinking and liberal as tinsel town is thought to be, it still has a lot of old school ingrained thinking. Namely, that gay actors will never be able to lead a movie in though 80% of the people working behind the scenes are gay. And they're probably right. As Hater J rightfully pointed out, the old James Dean "Guys want to be like him, girls want to be with him" adage wouldn't apply if James Dean was shacking up with Errol Flynn or something. How is it possible, though, that every theatre major you knew growing up, and almost every guy who acted in plays in high school is openly gay, but professional actors are all straight as an arrow? Are the gay actors not good enough? Do they all suddenly stop being gay once they graduate from Oberlin and get married? No way. Even allowing for some deviations, you have to imagine that 50% of the big name actors today are gay or in the very least bi. In 2012, acting is thought of as sort of gay, so imagine when most of your favorite actors decided to pick up the craft. That we don't hear more scandalous stories involving felt up masseuses is amazing. Besides the occasional "down low" rumor on Gawker every now and then, you'd probably think that the Screen Actors Guild is straighter than the NRA. Why haven't more actors come out as gay since they all campaign for gay rights? It all comes down to money, and being a bankable star. As much as movie stars like to portray themselves as "artistes", they're in it for the dough just like you or I would be. Just look at how many serious actors only do commercials overseas. What they're really worried about is their image as "movie stars" in America, personal integrity be damned. If they can get a million yen to promote a Japanese grape soda and (most) Americans won't see it, sign Leonardo DiCaprio up! He's all in. Why not keep your personal life in the closet then in exchange for courtside Lakers seats and more money than he could ever spend on beat up beat up baseball caps? The only guys who are openly gay fall into one of two categories: flamboyant Nathan Lane types or British. Where's everyone else?
Now contrary to the title of this post, I'm not really trying to imply that everyone of your favorite actors is gay. But in this day and age where the President of the United States and even Jay-Z can come out in support of gay rights, isn't it a little strange that there aren't more openly gay Americans in a profession that, frankly, attracts a lot of gay men? I guess only their masseuses know for sure.