Kate Winslet spoke up for some anonymous actors and acquaintances that remained in the closet due to fear of their sexuality destroying their career due to Hollywood's homophobia.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Winslet said "I cannot tell you the number of young actors I know — some well known, some starting out — who are terrified their sexuality will be revealed and that it will stand in the way of their being cast in straight roles."
"Now that's f***ed up."
@EW Well, people too often only see you for your sexuality. Either it is what makes them hate you or it is the only… https://t.co/sQ89P2JkUz— Tim Wiedemann (@Tim Wiedemann)1617575257.0
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@Kathy_Dominguez @EW She’s not outing people, she’s highlighting an issue that others maybe fear talking about— Pegs (@Pegs)1617575414.0
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She also recounted a recent story of a well-known actor whose American agent encouraged him to stay closeted:
"A well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, 'I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn't publicise that.' I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality. It's painful. Because they fear being found out. And that's what they say. 'I don't want to be found out.'"
Hollywood's long history of homophobia has caused several scandals; such as actor Rock Hudson, who was largely controlled by agent Henry Leroy Willson, being unable to be open about his sexuality until later life, when he contracted HIV and died from complications due to AIDS.
@people It's probably way more than that🤷🏾♂️— James (@James)1617567388.0
@people Tale as old as time— White (@White)1617638898.0
LOL i hooked up w one but i swore I’ll take his identity to the grave w me until he comes out https://t.co/hGnOa41ONR— gjoni 🧞♂️ (@gjoni 🧞♂️)1617641663.0
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*looks around* https://t.co/LHKDKGl1U2— jay🥀 (@jay🥀)1617597689.0
Winslet said that she was "done with not being honest about what [her] real opinions are."
"Hollywood has to drop that dated crap of, 'Can he play straight because, apparently, he's gay?'...That should be almost illegal."
"You would not believe how widespread it is. And it can't just be distilled to the question about gay actors playing gay parts. Because actors, in some cases, are choosing not to come out for personal reasons. And it's nobody's business. Perhaps privacy. Perhaps conditioning and shame."
she knows something https://t.co/4co0DVrRWC— kaitlyn (flop era) (@kaitlyn (flop era))1617596091.0
pretends to be shocked https://t.co/Nw2r4bCRXZ— Cristina (@Cristina)1617649660.0
just discovered homophobia https://t.co/HDYrobHEqx— mil (@mil)1617647328.0
This is sad and so f up https://t.co/6KyJfPTKR9— Leslie (@Leslie)1617623454.0
Winslet says her goal is to get more people to speak as openly as she is now doing.
"I don't intend to browbeat or take on Hollywood. We're just talking about young actors who might be considering joining this profession, and finding a way to make it more open...for there to be less judgment, discrimination and homophobia."
It's been over half a century since Rock Hudson's career took off, and to see that the industry is still struggling with homophobia is anything but heartening.
Hopefully younger actors will get what they deserve from Hollywood--which is for it to do better.