Think Hollywood is some sort of queer utopia when members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community are free to be their authentic selves? Think again.
A new study from UCLA’s LGBT think tank Williams Institute interviewed 5,700 SAG-AFTRA members about their experiences with anti-gay sentiment and language within the industry. The study reportedly found that half of performers that identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual “have heard directors and producers make anti-gay comments about actors... and 53 percent of LGBT respondents believed that directors and producers are biased against LGBT performers.”
“Although our industry is heading in the right direction, there is clearly work left to do as certain attitudes and behaviors persist and continue to put pressure on actors to stay in the closet,” Traci Godfrey and Jason Stuart, national co-chairs of the SAG-AFTRA LGBT Committee, stated. “We are confident that this unprecedented study will have profound ramifications for the entertainment industry as a whole. By utilizing the data it contains as it reflects the realities performers face, we can identify the obstacles to equal employment opportunities and full inclusion.”
These findings support similar findings released nearly a year ago by The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists that claimed Hollywood is much less gay-friendly off-screen and over half of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) actors surveyed felt directors and producers were biased against them.