Richard Chamberlain: Gay leading men should stay closeted

From the Advocate via Towleroad:

You were a wildly successful closeted actor during a period of time when coming out was unheard of, but the climate of acceptance has significantly changed in recent years. How do you feel about gay actors who still remain closeted as we near 2011?

“It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” — especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man–type actor to come out.”




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Richard Chamberlain: lead actors are better off in the closet

I am not surprised — the old-school closet mentality is still in effect. Things will not change unless you have brave and successful actors like Neal Patrick Harris who toss advice like this in the ash can. (The Advocate):

You were a wildly successful closeted actor during a period of time when coming out was unheard of, but the climate of acceptance has significantly changed in recent years. How do you feel about gay actors who still remain closeted as we near 2011?

“It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” – especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man-type actor to come out.”

So is this still true because of the Hollywood image-making fantasy? Is it only possible for character actors to be out or is even that problematic? How will this change if agents and studio heads hear rationalizations like Chamberlain’s in their heads?

Hat tips, Americablog, Towleroad.
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Richard Chamberlain: Gay Leading Men Should Remain Closeted

The one-time leading man tells the Advocate:

Rc You were a wildly successful closeted actor during a period of time when coming out was unheard of, but the climate of acceptance has significantly changed in recent years. How do you feel about gay actors who still remain closeted as we near 2011?

"It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” — especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man–type actor to come out."

When can a leading man come out — when he’s 69 and promoting a memoir?

"I have no idea. Despite all the wonderful advances that have been made, it’s still dangerous for an actor to talk about that in our extremely misguided culture. Look at what happened in California with Proposition 8. Please, don’t pretend that we’re suddenly all wonderfully, blissfully accepted."

Chamberlain was outed by French magazine Nous Deux in 1989 but only publicly came out in his 2003 autobiography, Shattered Love, at the age of 69.


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Richard Chamberlain: ‘I Wouldn’t Advise A Gay Leading Man-type Actor To Come Out’

It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” — especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man-type actor to come out.

—Richard Chamberlain, who came out publicly in his 60s and is only semi-separated from partner Martin Rabbett, still doesn't think Hollywood is safe for openly gay actors [via]


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