Despite the strides made in gay representation in Hollywood in the last decade, there’s still a long way to go. Homophobia is rampant in the industry despite the friendly facade it puts up for the support of gay rights.
We got a harsh reminder of this in a recent interview Variety had with Charlie Carver. Carver was promoting his new Netflix film The Boys in the Band based on the 2018 Broadway revival of the 1968 show of the same name.
However, it’s a story about an Emmy party that caught people’s attention.
Five years ago, Charlie Carver was at an Emmy party when a gay man he worked with chastised him three separate times for acting too effeminate: "I was told that I needed to ‘get it under control’ around people in the business" https://t.co/rnD7RYJnpS
— Variety (@Variety) September 30, 2020
At an Emmy party in 2015, Carver was chastised by a gay man he worked with for his mannerisms. Specifically, he was accused of acting too effeminate.
He told Variety:
“I was told that I needed to ‘get it under control’ around people in the business.”
After the party, while Carver was waiting for his valet, he ran into the same man again and asked him for clarification. The response he received was a literal slap across the face.
That’s not a metaphor either.
I’m dying to know who it was.
— Matt (@FilmFan_001) October 1, 2020
So, important issues aside, Carver was "slapped" by another gay actor for being effeminate? Slapped. Really? I think the other gay actor was projecting.
— dslaton (@dougslaton) October 1, 2020
this is unbelievable 🤦 https://t.co/AkuwSaWjfY
— it won't be soon (@nickrusso_15) October 1, 2020
Literally slapped? Was the person who slapped him able to walk away?
— Louis Riehm (@louis_riehm) October 1, 2020
The slap was obviously not appreciated by Carver, who told Variety:
“It wasn’t playful but intentional, pointed and meant to be instructive. A slap. I told him that if he ever touched me again, I would name him.”
Carver also swore to himself that he wouldn’t police himself that way. A few months later in January 2016, he came out publicly as gay.
For all the glitz and glamour, Hollywood has a massive issue with LGBTQ+ representation. Part of that comes down to how things play out behind the scenes.
From actors and writers, up to producers and executives, there’s still a lot of anti-gay sentiment in the business that LGBT actors have to overcome.
It’s an ongoing issue that’s going to take a lot of effort to correct.
Grounding the Gay is a serious problem in the industry. https://t.co/y8gnRV5RCI
— jd stewart (@jdizzlestewart) September 30, 2020
True or not, it's a reflection of the real world. This is not something that we wish on others, however this is real. This is happening. Check the mirror. 😪
— Jepong (@XJFFRSN) October 1, 2020
And some of you still wonder why actors chose to remain closeted for their own safety….. https://t.co/cBnKFQZ988
— Glenda Ms. Jackson if Ya Nasty (@kbaileyjava2) October 1, 2020
Minority stress comes from heteronormativity. Being gay and being feminine usually do not mix because of heteronormativity. It also comes from people ignoring ones sexuality because they think its just a sexual arousal thing.
— Jon (@Jon85636981) October 2, 2020
Despite the slap to the face, Carver recognizes he experiences a privilege unknown to the original performers of The Boys in the Band. In 1968, despite the massive success of the show, it was considered career suicide to star in the production about a group of gay men.
Now, the show is popular enough that the main characters are all played by openly gay men, and it can win a Tony Award and have a Netflix movie.
But that progress doesn’t mean we’re done. Instances of policing people’s sexuality have to stop.