Though much is made of sexuality not hampering the careers of performers, it seems that the reality of being gay in Hollywood may tell a slightly different story.
A new report published by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has concluded that many gay performers have experienced some form of discrimination or homophobia while working.
The research, conducted by the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA, surveyed 5,700 SAG-AFTRA members in 2012.
Over 50% said that they had heard either directors or producers making derogatory, anti-gay comments, with 53% of LGBT respondents believing that directors and producers are biased against LGBT performers in hiring.
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Meanwhile, a third of LGBT actors who took part in the research said that they had witnessed disrespectful treatment of other gay actors on set, with an eighth of non-LGBT actors saying they had also seen such behaviour.
9% said that they had ben turned down for a role because the director, casting director or producer believed them to be gay.
Another gay actor said: “Despite being gay, some casting agents/directors won’t even hire me for gay roles, because they don’t feel I ‘look’ gay.”
However, there were also positive results from the survey, with 72% of gay actors saying that coming out had no effect on their careers, and would encourage other LGBT performers to do so too.
80% of respondents also agreed that transgender performers can play non-transgender roles equally as well as non-trans performers, though LGBT respondents are less likely than straight respondents to have an agent, which may put LGBT performers at a disadvantage when looking for work.