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Report: Hollywood is less gay-friendly off-screen

Saturday, September 28, 2013

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.

HollywoodThe Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists commissioned the survey, released Friday. It found that 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 percent 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 that more than half of the gay, transgender and bisexual respondents had heard pro ducers and directors make anti-gay comments while working on-set.

The performers’ union, which is holding its annual convention in Los Angeles, said it pursued the first-of-its-kind research at the request of a committee that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members and as a methodical way to explore an issue usually discussed through anecdotes.

The study was conducted by the Williams Institute, a think tank based at UCLA that specializes in sexual orientation, gender identity and public policy.

“The survey results show both progress and indications that more work will be necessary to make the workplace an equal and fully welcoming place for LGBT performers,” M. V. Lee Badgett, a University of Massachusetts, Amherst economics professor affiliated with the UCLA institute.

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“The good news is that almost no one thought that opportunities for LGBT actors were getting worse,” said Badgett.

Of the 5,692 participants, 465 identified as gay men, 61 as lesb ians, and seven as transgender. Another 301 men and women described themselves as bisexual.

The survey also revealed that despite concerns about being typecast, two-thirds of the gay actors who had played gay characters felt that it had not harmed their careers or limited the roles they were offered. Nine percent of the gay men and lesbians said they had been turned down for roles during the past five years because of their sexual orientations.

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39 more reader comments:

  1. Holly Wood What?

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 7:40pm
  2. I’m not surprised

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 7:41pm
  3. Hollywood é Palhoça, visite-nos! Brasil, Santa Catarina.

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 7:41pm
  4. hollywood sucks. They talk of the need to feed the hungry…yet have million dollar parties and red carpet events. Fuck them.

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 7:42pm
  5. Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 7:48pm
  6. It’s always behind your back — stab, stab, stab! Sounds like show biz!

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 7:49pm
  7. i love my lgbt babies

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 7:55pm
  8. Implying we didn’t already know this.

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 8:01pm
  9. @JasonVorva, dont forget millions of dollars to waste on crappy movies. Everything is practically a remake these days, they’re running out of ideas. o_O

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 8:09pm
  10. Producers, directors and writers of many gay episodes and movies are definitely homophobic and prejudiced!

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 8:15pm
  11. Hollywood is less friendly, PERIOD.

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 8:40pm
  12. Who didn’t know that they’ve been keeping people like us in the closet for decades

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 8:40pm
  13. Hollywood, they like the idea of trans so much they rarely even put transgender people in roles of transgender people. I swear I’ve seen way too many movies with ciswomen portraying transwomen or just men wearing too much makeup. Not even sure I’ve seen anything with a transman outside of the obvious name. On top of it there’s no real respect and that’s evident in some ways they even portray transgender people. How many films and shows has a transgender character died in at the end and/or been portrayed poorly, stereotypically or downright atrociously? And I still can’t unsee that one Arrested Development advertisement and dare I mention that one television show that was thankfully cancelled (I can’t recall the name, but that television ad made me vomit). Shameless hypocrites!

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 8:53pm
  14. Unfortunately, that is very true. It took two straight men to go BEHIND THE CANDLEABRA, a movie that was executive produced and directed by straight men. Did Michael Douglas receive the Emmy for his portrayal of Liberace, or for having the courage to play a flamboyantly gay man? Guess we will never know.

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 8:58pm
  15. That’s a lie–take it from me, a native Californian.

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 9:12pm
  16. Movie studios didn’t want to do the “Behind the Candelabra” movie, reportedly because they said it was “too gay.”

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 10:01pm
  17. Transgender people are treated like crap every where. This is not news to me

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 10:04pm
  18. tell that to Neil Patrick Harris, Jody Foster, Ellen, etc. and a slew of others….Jealousy involved?…How about behind the camera?

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 10:59pm
  19. This is news?

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 11:05pm
  20. I could tell you stories

    Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 11:23pm
  21. It’s considered a coup de theatre for a cisgendered or heterosexual actor to play trans or gay roles….is that perhaps a matter of institutionalizing prestige, to keep the reality from occupying its own image?

    Point of history: George Gershwin legally stipulated when he wrote his opera Porgy and Bess that it was never to be fully-staged without the listed characters actually being cast with black actors – so as to prevent it from being taken over by white actors to show off their range. Perhaps some prominent screenwriters and production groups could adopt similar policies to ensure access for LGBT (but especially T) actors in at /least/ their own character niches.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 12:34am
  22. not surprised.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 1:26am
  23. No surprise – why should it be any different for them…we all experience the prejudice

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 2:12am
  24. i’m a straight visual artist who makes gender preference themed art, along with other art. most gay people who know i’m straight have not embraced me. it’s no wonder, the way straight people have treated gay people, since like forever. i hope one day there will be no discrimination against gay people at all in any way.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 3:40am
  25. I believe it. Why do you think we have seen straight actors playing LGBTQI all these years? It’s more ok to play a gay person, than it is to be one.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 4:02am
  26. Hollywood isn’t ANYTHING friendly off-screen…
    (Except, maybe drug-friendly?)

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 4:45am
  27. yes we are STILL having major problems… even being a black woman.. in general people sometimes find a way to hate on others for no reason at all. #sad

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 5:51am
  28. that’s why I decided that Sweet TV! and Sweet Entertainment Productions as a whole was the best route for me… THERE’S A plethora of high level entertainers working towards their shine!

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 5:52am
  29. Especially since most of the people portraying them are straight men/women.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 6:05am
  30. Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 6:34am
  31. of course they are…Hollywood is FAKE!!!

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 6:58am
  32. Straights get it easy everywhere. Even in the “gayest” industries.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 8:01am
  33. it’s true. no wonder there are many closeted gay actors and actresses cause they’re industry is not really gay friendly.In short their afraid. -______-

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 8:41am
  34. i been sayN that for 10 yrs.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 10:42am
  35. no surprise…

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 11:55am
  36. I am glad to hear this wurvey was done and hope they do it on an annual basis from now on.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 12:28pm
  37. Hollywood is just another place, of corse gays still face discrimination there! We do everywhere…

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 1:57pm
  38. It’s not very gay-friendly on-screen either. :P Find a single none-drama or none-romantic comedy where the main character is gay, I dare you. Superhero movie, action movie, sci-fi movie, fantasy movie, horror movie, thriller movie, animated movie… none. And I mean movies with cinematic releases, of course.

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 2:18pm
  39. gays are less friendly to each other off screen too

    Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 5:07pm