Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Quotables: Richard Chamberlain Tells Actors to Stay in The Closet

A photo of Richard Chamberlain

“There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. For an actor to be working [at all] 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. 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.”

– Richard Chamberlain, former heartthrob and, as of age 69, an openly gay actor, advising the gay youth in Hollywood to keep it to themselves.

I’m sort of intrinsically opposed to this sort of “keep your head down” advice.  There’s been a forward-moving energy about equality for a while now, and it’s not there yet, that’s obvious, but advising people to stay in the closet because they’re sure to be shunned? That seems a little counterintuitive to me.

What do you guys think?  We have strong feelings about this, right?  Let’s talk about them.

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Well, there’s the way life should be and then there’s the way life really is. I think that’s what he’s saying. I mean, look at Kevin Spacey’s career. One minute, he’s a respected Oscar winner doing the kind of roles intelligent, talented actors would kill for. He said his sexuality was nobody’s business and let it go at that. He was 100% right. Then, a few pictures made their way onto some websites of him at some parties, getting VERY much into some guy and just that fast, he has virtually vanished. The next time we see Kevin is in George Clooney’s “The Men Who Stare at Goats” in a supporting role. Conversely, if it wasn’t for some pretty brave people sticking their necks out and coming out, today’s attitudes towards gay people wouldn’t be as “accepting” as they are. So, what’s the answer? What do you think, Kevin? I know I miss you very much.

  • Kevin Spacy is an incredible actor and I would watch him in any film. Alas for Kevin, Hollywood is not kind to homosexuals, closeted or otherwise (actually Hollywood is kind to NO-ONE). Homosexual males are particularly ostracized and cast from the bosom, so to speak. I don’t know if American women are, in truth, all that homophobic, or if they just can’t fantasize (sexually) effectively once an actor’s sexual preference is known, but once a guy is “out” he’s really OUT. Let us be honest, there is a sexual component to being a “heart-throb.” I urge all aspiring young actors to listen to their Uncle Richard (Chamberlain) and act all hot and bothered for the ladies, on the red carpet, whether they light your fire or not. You do want to live long in Hollywood, and prosper don’t you? You are an “actor” aren’t you? Then keep your love of men to yourself. You will be richer, and more famous (and possibly happier) that you did.

    • I guess gays can be heart-throbs to men, but apparently the female marketplace dries up for them once they come out. Hey man, I don’t make the rules – I just notice what they are. Remember that openly gay guy that tried to make a go of being a leading man couple of years ago? Rupert something??? I forget his name. I bet you can’t recall him either. He was very good looking and tried to do a couple of romantic comedies, acting as the male love interest opposite a female lead. I guess the suspension of disbelief was too much for most women. His career is no-where. It is sad – I really liked him.

      • Good God. Guess who just appears to have exhumed himself, bashing Jennifer Aniston of all people? Rupert Everett. He’s the guy. If anyone can recall a movie he’s done recently, playing a lead romantic role, or ANY role, please give it up. We shall see if he is permanently resurrected or if this is just a temporary visit to the land of the living, where the closeted in Hollywood enjoy vital careers…

  • I believe he’s specifically speaking to gay ACTORS, not gay people in general. A lot of gay actors/musicians lose some of their fan base after coming out. If a hot male actor comes out, then ladies are disappointed and lose interest. Also, knowing that an actor is gay in real life will compromise his chances of playing a believable straight role. It’s not about homophobia per-say, but more so about popularity.

  • I’m afraid that for actors wishing to remain leading men even today it is necessary to keep one’s sexual orientation under wraps.

    It’s not fair, and as actors they should be able to overcome prejudice through their ability to get into character, but it is the way it is.

    Sad, really sad.