Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black has slated Hollywood actors who remain in the closet, saying he has ‘no respect’ for them.
Black, who won an Oscar for the screenplay for ‘Milk’ in 2008, is currently engaged to British diving star Tom Daley.
He made the comments during an interview with Attitude magazine.
“I have no respect for someone who lies about their sexuality,” he said.
“At the very least say ‘no comment’, just keep your personal life personal. But if you’re going to closet yourself, that sends a negative message.”
He added that it is the culture within Hollywood management that could be to blame for actors keeping their sexuality hidden.
“I’ve never encountered homophobia in casting from the studios or networks – not once, not ever,” he went on.
“Where you encounter it is with the agents and the managers, they’re the ones who have an outdated notion of the price an actor might pay if it’s discovered that they’re LGBTQ.
“Often they don’t want to see anything happen that might compromise their investment. I think they cripple their actors because they stunt the star’s ability to be open and honest, and an audience can feel that.”
Following his home-run with ‘Milk’, which starred Sean Penn as the assassinated politician and activist Harvey Milk, he penned the scripts for the movie ‘Virginia’, which he also directed, and Clint Eastwood’s ‘J. Edgar’, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
His latest project is ‘When We Rise’, a mini-series for ABC about the rise of the gay rights movement from the late 60s onwards.
It stars Guy Pearce as renowned activist Cleve Jones, with roles for the likes of Rachel Griffiths, Mary-Louise Parker, Michael K. Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and David Hyde Pierce, while Gus Van Sant directing the first, feature-length episode.