In Hollywood it seems there is never a moment when a good “Is he gay?” debate isn’t going on. As a culture we’re obsessed with our celebrities. As a culture we’re also obsessed with sexuality. Add to that the fact that as a culture we’re also obsessed with gossip. Put all three together (celebrity sexuality gossip) and you’ve got us basically in hysteria.
In today’s environment of equality (ideally anyway) and understanding, many people wonder why a famous Hollywood actor who is gay wouldn’t just come out and admit it. Some would argue (although not me personally) that they actually have a RESPONSIBILITY to “come out of the closet. Some would argue that being gay is the “in” thing and would probably just increase their popularity. But very few male celebrities ever acknowledge their homosexuality and thus the rumour mill keeps spinning.
The good folks at CTV have posted up a really good little article on this topic. Here’s a little excerpt:
No matter how many Hollywood starlets they have hanging on their arms, over the years some very macho movie stars have been haunted by tabloid headlines hinting that they’re not-so-hetero.
Cynics have wondered whether these female flames — some of whom even end up marrying their men and having children — are “beards,” a phenomenon which is defined as a woman who dates or marries a gay man to mask his homosexuality. A beard is an accessory that adds a rough layer of macho to a very made-up silver screen image.
“If you’re an actor it’s very important that you appear to be heterosexual, because that’s the majority of this country,” Jill Abrams, a producer for CNN’s Showbiz Today says in David Ehrenstein’s Open Secret: Gay Hollywood 1928-1998. “That’s where the dollars are coming from, and they need to believe in their fantasy world that they can have you. If they think you are totally unobtainable. It won’t work,” she says. Tom Cruise is the biggest star to face such speculation, and he’s been aggressive in launching lawsuits when the tabloids give him trouble.
The sad part is that if an actor is gay, it WILL hurt his career. Think about it. Would any of us know who Tom Cruise is if it wasn’t for 15 years of women drooling over him? Probably not.
Case in point… Rupert Everett. This guy has it all. Great looks, fantastic talent and an on screen charm that’ll knock your socks off. But he’s openly gay which changes perception… and celebrity is all about perception. It’s sad… but it’s true. There is no other reason why this guys shouldn’t be king of Hollywood right now… but he’s not.
I really suggest running over to CTV and giving that article a read. If nothing else, it’ll make you think.