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SAG-AFTRA Says LGBT Actors Still Face Discrimination

The acting union released details in a report on Friday.

By City News Service

Actors who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender continue to face discrimination and bias in the entertainment industry, despite supportive stances taken by fellow performers, according to a report released today by the SAG-AFTRA acting union.

"We were pleased to see that our membership is overwhelmingly supportive of LGBT actors, and that many LGBT actors found benefits in coming out,'' according to Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA's chief administrative officer and attorney. "Nonetheless, coming out remains a significant and consequential decision for many performers and we are committed to supporting our members in living honest and authentic personal and professional lives.''

According to the report more than one-third of LBGT performers reported witnessing disrespectful treatment, and 16 percent had experienced discrimination, with gay men reporting the most difficulty.

Almost half of the lesbian and gay performers surveyed for the report felt that producers and studio executives thought they were less marketable.

The report also found that 29 percent of heterosexual performers have never played a lesbian or gay role, but 58 percent of lesbian or gay performers have.

"Some study respondents felt that choosing to play an LGBT character limited future casting opportunities,'' according to Jody L. Herman of the Williams Institute at UCLA's School of Law, which worked with the union on the study.

"Given LGBT actors are significantly more likely to play LGBT characters, these actors are disproportionately impacted by any casting bias based on prior LGBT roles,'' Herman said.
George September 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Oh please! "Modern Family" as an example has won 4 Emmy's for best comedy since it premiered basically for having two main gay characters. The show is ONLY ok. Not great but wins awards primarily because of the gay characters and the gay sympathizers in the business. All award show are political and deserving winners rarely win awards. "The Big bang theory" is a much funnier show and doesn't rely on the stereo typicalness of a group of people to get laughs. "The Big bang theory" was robbed the Emmy this year as far as I am concerned. The gays need to STOP pissing & moaning as per usual.
JESS Kalinowsky Registered Voter September 28, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I find this so very ODD. Since there are SO MANY GLBT people in the movie industry. It is NOT some sort of "Big Secret". Even when actors are not officially "OUT" all their inner circle, and in fact MANY people know they are GLBT but simply choose to not make a political statement by "coming out". Hopefully in the not too distant future the "stigma" of being GLBT will go away forever. FUNNY that a "Union" would have any sort of discrimination at all. Buy its very nature a "Union" should be THE most inclusive and protect ALL of their members. Am I missing something?
JESS Kalinowsky Registered Voter September 28, 2013 at 03:07 PM
PAUL, you are indeed correct, Big Bang is a MUCH better show. BUT the writers are not clever enough to write for ALL of the cast! Like the writers do in Modern Family. The core characters in Big Bang are really good. They just need better lines to read! The "Politics" in the "Awards" associations really is a joke sometimes. I mean REALLY! Full page ads in the business media, and in the public media "For your consideration" REALLY? I wonder how many people in the different AWARDS associations actually VOTE, and more importantly how many actually SEE the program or movie? VERY disappointed that "Behind the Candelabra" was not released in theaters, which means it cannot be nominated for Academy Awards. Or Golden Globe. Or can it get a Golden Globe? Not sure. STELLAR movie.
George September 28, 2013 at 03:43 PM
I was glad to see Ellen Burstyn win for "Political animals". Sigourney Weaver should have won also. That was the best of all last years mini series. I didn't enjoy the movie about pianist Liberace. He was a talented man who worked hard his whole life ONLY to be characterized as a cartoon. I am glad it didn't make it to the theaters. After what movie exes did to screen legend Joan Crawford you would have thought they would learn there lesson? I'm sure if Crawford or Liberace were alive neither of those films would have been made. I think it is shameful for people to write books without facts and Hollywood exes then turn around and make them into movies.

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