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08/03/2018 05:59 pm ET

Chloë Grace Moretz: 'Queer Movies Should Be Told Through A Queer Lens'

The "Miseducation of Cameron Post" star had harsh words for "Boy Erased," a rival gay conversion therapy film.

Chloë Grace Moretz is earning raves for her portrayal of an ex-gay “conversion” therapy survivor in “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” due out Friday. 

The “Kick-Ass” star, however, believes her movie has already felt the effects of anti-queer bias. Though “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” picked up the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January, it struggled for months to find a distributor. Meanwhile, another conversion therapy-themed film, “Boy Erased,” will be distributed by Focus Features and is riding a wave of pre-release buzz ― evidence, Moretz believes, of a troubling double standard in Hollywood. 

Based on Emily Danforth’s 2013 novel, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” was “directed by a bisexual woman of diversity [Desiree Akhavan, who is Iranian-American],” Moretz told the Los Angeles Times. She added that “it has a very diverse cast and we didn’t cast all celebrities.”

By comparison, “Boy Erased” has “distribution already, it’s going to come out, it’s going to be big — it’s written and directed by a white man, it’s shot through a straight male gaze,” she said. “You just look at the discrepancy and that’s shocking.” 

She went to to lament a lack of enthusiasm among mainstream studio executives to back diverse films “even though people want these movies to be told, they want these things to be said.”

“They’re still backing first and foremost the straight white man who is going to be putting out the movie that’s the safer bet,” she added. “And I think that’s unfair. Queer movies should be told through a queer lens and created by queer people.”

“Boy Erased,” which hits theaters in November, boasts some impressive Hollywood pedigree. Based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir, the movie follows Jared (Lucas Hedges), a fundamentalist Christian teen who is sent by his parents (Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman) to a reparative, or conversion, therapy program headed by Victor Sykes (Joel Edgerton, who is also the film’s director). 

The release of both films couldn’t be more timely, given that conversion therapy remains a hotly debated topic in America’s political sphere. In July, Delaware became the 15th U.S. state to ban the widely discredited practice ― which reportedly includes methods like electroshock treatments aimed at “curing” patients of their same-sex attraction ― among minors.  

Still, a January report estimated that nearly 700,000 LGBTQ Americans between the ages 18 and 59 have undergone conversion therapy. 

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