Study Finds Bias Persists Against Gay and Lesbian Actors

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Over one-third of respondents report 'disrespectful' treatment

A SAG-AFTRA study has found that, even as opportunities and conditions improve, discrimination persists against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender actors.

The survey, based on responses from over 5,600 union members, showed nearly half of lesbian and gay respondents and 27% of bisexual respondents “strongly agreed” that producers and studio execs believe that lesbian and gay performers are less marketable.

The report also found that over a third of LGBT performers, as well as some non-LGBT performers, had witnessed “disrespectful” treatment toward these minorities. And 16% of LGBT respondents reported they had experienced discrimination.

“Gay men were the most likely to report they have experienced some form of discrimination, with one in five reporting an experience,” the union said. “Bisexual actors were about half as likely to report discrimination as gay or lesbian actors.”

The report by SAG-AFTRA and UCLA’s The Williams Institute found one-third of survey respondents believed that casting directors, directors, and producers may be biased against LGBT performers. The survey, released Friday at the first-ever SAG-AFTRA convention, also showed over half of LGBT performers had heard anti-gay comments on set.

Respondents also said SAG-AFTRA members provide a supportive environment for LGBT performers. Additionally, many lesbian and gay respondents said they would encourage others to come out.

“We were pleased to see that our membership is overwhelmingly supportive of LGBT actors, and that many LGBT actors found benefits in coming out,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel. “Nonetheless, coming out remains a significant and consequential decision for many performers and we are committed to supporting our members in living honest and authentic personal and professional lives.”

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  1. coolbreze61 says:

    Typically people that are so elegant about their hatred of gay people are usually gay themselves and in extreme denial.

  2. Stanger than Fiction says:

    Odd, to my untrained eye the LGBT community as a segment of the population (compared to their larger heterosexual counterparts) appear to be over represented in mass media.

  3. Stanger than Fiction says:

    Odd. As a group, the LGBT community (which in infinitely smaller than their heterosexual counterparts)appears to my untrained eye to be over represented in mass media.

  4. william says:

    It’s BS.. it’s a cop out for poor talent. Ask Paul Lynde, Merv, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Gomer Pyle. if you can act, no body cares. If you can’t then you make up excuses. Heres’ the thing if you’re gay and an actor being loveable, don’t be a bitter person like Margaret Cho, or Rosie, then wander why you’re not well liked. Neil Patrick Harris rocks it, nobody cares and I’m a repub too BTw, not that it matters.

    • Liberace says:

      Of all those older names you mentioned, none hung thier sexuality out there. They performed, picked up thier check and went on thier way.
      Rosie, on the other hand, hangs her orientation out there, while having NO talent, and she keeps getting new talk shows….all of which crash & burn. Seems, Hollywood favors her.

  5. Ratt says:

    And I am suppose to care because ?????????????????

  6. Defiant says:

    You expect me to take seriously an article telling me that gays are discriminated against…in Hollywood!? LMAO! Nice try. You mean guys like NPH are discriminated against? He’s got his own show! LOL! Isn’t this like writing an article saying that Italians are discriminated against in Italy?

  7. Stoney says:

    Movie patrons are a romantic lot. When the actors in a film are known to be ‘same sex’ oriented, the chemistry can’t be there for the majority of the audience, who aren’t of that inclination.

    • bugtheroot says:

      EXACTLY. Why haven’t I, as a hetero male, watched Brokeback Mountain? Because I’m NOT interested in a gay love story. In fact it would gross me out.
      And I wouldn’t want to watch a gay actor pretending to be straight. We might as well have white actors pretending to be Indians again (oh…like Johnny Depp playing Tonto…maybe that’s why it wasn’t the hit they anticipated?)

  8. David Keller says:

    How about the discrimination against conservative actors?

    • Jon Doe says:

      How right you are about that. Of course being honest and opening up that subject for discussion doesn’t fit the progressive agenda, so you and I will just be labeled “racist” and ignored.

  9. Moe Lester says:

    Maybe Holder can launch an investigation Word is his boss was watching Brokeback Mountain with butt-buddie Reggie Love during Bengahzi debacle. I heard he pushing for a sequel with Will Smith as Razor Ramon

  10. El Griff says:

    The reason that producers and directors shy away from placing homosexuals in leading roles is because most people continue to find them repugnant, political correctness notwithstanding. And most straight people do not want to see homosexual relationships portrayed on screen (with the usual exception for hot lesbians). No amount of whining or threatening by the LGBT community is going to change that. However, I am mystified as to what they are complaining about, since a perusal of the TV channels and more recent movies makes it seem that a huge proportion of productions are awash in homosexuals and homosexual relationship portrayals, grossly disproportionate to their actual presence in society as a whole, as if TV and movies were not trashy enough already.

  11. Curmudgeon10 says:

    So how do you market a product throughout the country, when the only places in love with gays are the larger urban areas?? I don’t know.

    Perhaps some of the more well heeled gays in the country need to green light movies which feature gay characters and actors/actresses. Then see what the return on investment is. Then see if they want to keep doing it.

  12. Cheapshot says:

    hot lesbos are fake. they are often just paid to act like that, or do it for attention. true lesbobos could be described as lesbigguns. they are fat, ugly, and ornery.

  13. Cheapshot says:

    dont complain to whitey, he dosent run hollywood

  14. Bernie says:

    So what’s the complaint of the gay actors, that Americans still have enough morals such that the gays aren’t marketable? How much more do these people want to force down our throats. I don’t know but the forcing is to the point where I’m beginning to feel raped.

  15. lets just make better movies ,and shut up!!!!!

  16. John Doe says:

    Homo’s are a mistake of nature.

  17. Dan says:

    Waah. Oh, this is West of the MIssissippi. Sorry. Kwah.

  18. Frank says:

    Gee I wonder what the discrimination rate in Hollywood is against conservatives? Wanna bet it is way higher than 1/5th of 10% of the population?

  19. AnnaLisa says:

    It’s kind of ridiculous – recently (jerktastic bi writer) Bret Easton Ellis raved on Twitter about how gay actor Matt Bomer couldn’t POSSIBLY be cast in a big film straight role. Dude, millions of women watch him on White Collar and in Magic Mike and we LOVE him. Frankly, I don’t give a damn if an actor is gay or straight and playing a gay or straight role; they’re actors.

    Well, you can tell Drudge linked this, since all the lunatic bigots are out with their pitchforks.

    • bugtheroot says:

      So AnnaLisa says that, as a woman, she LOVES gay actor Matt Bomer and doesn’t mind seeing him in either a gay or straight role.
      As a male, I’m not going to watch a gay actor play the part of a straight actor. Period.
      By the same token, I can’t stand to watch any movie with Tom Cruise because I think he’s a freak and a weasle. So no matter how “great” the latest revision of Mission Impossible is, I can’t enjoy the movie because I want to vomit a little every time I see Cruise.
      The key to “movie magic” is the “suspension of disbelief”. All these “super stars” ruin that for me.

    • Jon Doe says:

      That is just too good not to repeat. Say that over and over each and every time one of these brain dead flakes tries to spin this away from that truth.

      • Jon Doe says:

        Still substituting reasoned debate with childish name calling huh? Well expect to be challenged on that each and every time you try it my progressive brainwashed friend. Keep it up. Keep calling us all bigots. keep showing everyone just who and what you are. Name calling is all your ilk have. Its pathetic and we are exposing you. Keep crying about racism. Keep calling us all rednecks that don’t know anything. Keep it up. See what happens.

    • Brian Astby says:

      The real bigot is the one who first mentions the word bigot.

  20. Sam says:

    I know many faithful and devout Christians who are not only discriminated against, they are blacklisted. How can this article be taken seriously when it is nothing but nonsense.

  21. Jim says:

    If they don’t constantly claim some sort of bias, their cause will become moot. Of course they continue to complain.

  22. BarrysHypocrisy says:

    The gays have learned from the blacks to just claim bias or discrimination all the time. They’ve learned to get their way by playing the victims.

  23. john p says:

    With all of the truly real and big problems in the world today can somebody explain to me why utter trash and useless information like this is even news to somebody ?

  24. Lawman53 says:

    What? TV is full of homos and lesbians already, what else do they want, give them the Homo channel, 24 hrs.

  25. jwhacket says:

    So put more of them in tv shows and over time fewer and fewer people will tune it. I gave up tv a couple of years ago mostly because of the amount of commercials, and I don’t miss it at all.

  26. Ben Gauzzi says:

    “I make fun of the Homo-Sexual,…………….because they’re Homo-Sexual”. – Eddie Murphy.

  27. Felcher Uno says:

    All we need is MORE queers on the entertainment industry………….
    Enough of this B.S.

  28. Ralph Gizzip says:

    If gays feel they’re being discriminated against they can always make their own movies and TV shows to sell and distribute.

  29. Yukiko says:

    This really sucks. So do most of the gay oriented movies and TV shows. Pun intended.

  30. Brad Thomson says:

    Funny that…..YET in all entertainment they are represented well BEYOND the statistical make up of society.

    Only on TV do you find that the only good advice you can give someone on how they dress, eat or get married seems to come from an LGBT????

    Why is that???????

  31. Mary Johnson says:

    what a lie
    the gay population is less that 2% but every has a gay

  32. James Barber says:

    Well, I as a man who could remember watching Rock Hudson and Cary Grant, we who watch in the flyover country are not fond of LGBT activities at all. I and many others will not watch shows that have overt or subplots of gay characters. I am quite fond of the Andy Tennent movies, Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama, and there is always the obligatory gay character, but this character does what I would expect a gay character to do, emphasizing I. I did not ever see an episode of Will and Grace, Partners and the other gay themed sitcom failed, and I have yet to see the “Emmy winner” Modern Family regardless how good looking Sofia Vergara is. I will not subject myself to the same sex couple scenes because it is not what I like. Hollywood, your view is not the only view, trust me. Failure should be a sign.

    • Jason Scott says:

      James, you make a good point. Hollywood can produce whatever they want and put it on the big screen or the TV screen. I have the option of choosing to watch or not watch shows that show same sex scenes (Modern Family, Glee, etc.) I choose not to watch these shows as same sex relationships do not interest me. (It does not matter how may awards the show has received.)

  33. Vivian says:

    Drama queens.

  34. Jon24 says:

    Maybe they just don’t like your acting, or maybe they don’t like gays and lesbians, so what, they don’t have to like you, or accept you for any reason.

  35. NO GAYZ says:

    Awww…. Poor faggots…..

  36. ME says:

    Holy Cow! Discrimination? I don’t think so.

  37. ace8842 says:

    Bias? It’s not bias, it’s fact. No one wants to watch gay couples kiss and be intimate on TV.

  38. michael wells says:

    So, what else is new? The town is ran by closeted gay men. Not to mention that money is the keyword. Hollywood is the Business of Show-if someones sexual orientation gets in the way of the bottom line, gee, guess what.

  39. Mike Janz says:

    What! Hollywood, the same Hollywood that demands that mainstream Americans accept homosexuals as just another life style, don’t want them around and treat them badly?
    Wow who would have ever thought that Hollywood liberals would be so hippicritical!

  40. Sum ting wong says:

    If they dont get “preferential treatment” they claim its discrimination. I am soooo tired of these special interest groups.

  41. Thomas says:

    Those hypersensitive to “disrespect” and “discrimination,” who search for it on a more or less constant basis, are certain to find it. In a wildly overcrowded business where rejection is the norm, it is often simpler and less painful to rationalize one’s shortcomings and career disappointments if they can be blamed on bias.

    And I’m just guessing here, but I would imagine among the LGBT membership of SAG and AFTRA there are probably at least a few complete jerks that nobody likes one way or the other.

  42. Me Myself and I says:

    Ian McKellen, Zachary Quinto, Neil Patrick Harris, Jodie Foster, Jim Parsons, Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, I can keep going. I’m calling BS on this story. That’s only a short list of very marketable stars. And they are doing just fine.

  43. Pleasestop the indoctorination says:

    Seriously? I’m annoyed at how often that people who engage in homosexuality are presented on TV, which I know is a clear attempt to try to force the rest of us to accept them as being “normal”. I too have cancelled my cable subscription and have opted for Streaming TV.

  44. HiDest says:

    Take a number..Republicans have the same problem but don’t see anyone extending the sympathy vote for them…..

  45. Harry Balls says:

    What about Brokeback mountain bitch?

  46. ata777 says:

    Well, cry me a rainbow river. Based on what I’ve seen on TV and in the movies, gays are OVER-represented, relative to their percentage of the population. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

  47. Garys opinion says:

    If this were true there wouldn’t be any movies or programs at all.

  48. awrocksu says:

    duh, of course they are less marketable. they are less than 3 percent of the population, yet they want to be in every leading role and evry movie made. How about this, pull you big boy pants up, that goes for you lesbos too, and buck up. We all get treated bad. Try being a republican christian in hollywood.

  49. newyawkahbroad says:

    Poor Jim Parsons, Neil Patrick Harris, Queen Latifah, Ellen DeGeneres, Nathan Lane, Elton John…..

    Could you imagine how successful they’d be if they were just allowed to be who they are?

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