Hollywood's Still 'Discriminating' Against the LGBT Entertainers?

Anyone who watches TV, with everything from "Glee" to "America's Next Top Model," sees a torrent of homosexuality promotion. But the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of TV and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) produced a study that insists that Hollywood is still backwards on the LGBT agenda. The study, four years in the making and performed by the UCLA Law School’s Williams Institute, was unveiled for the union’s convention this weekend.

Newly elected SAG-AFTRA executive vice president Gabrielle Carteris ("Beverly Hills 90210") said she planned to introduce a resolution at Saturday’s convention session supporting LGBT performers. Among the findings:

– 53 percent of LGBT respondents believed that directors and producers are biased against LGBT performers in hiring.

– More than half of LGBT performers had heard anti-LGBT comments on set.

– And yet, 72 percent said that coming out had no effect on their careers. Of course, that means that 28 percent had a different, most likely negative experience.

– “Gender nonconforming men and men who were out professionally” were the most likely to experience discrimination.

--Almost half of gay and lesbian respondents strongly agreed that producers and studio executives thing they are “less marketable.”

In other words, Hollywood may be progressive, but their “marketing” to backward Americans still needs more aggressive propagandizing.

SAG-AFTRA chief administrative officer and general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told TheWrap.com that “We were pleased to see that our membership is overwhelmingly supportive of LGBT actors, and that many LGBT actors found benefits in coming out...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.”

Crabtree-Ireland, who quipped that he wasn’t an actor but was married to one thanks to the cases that legalized same-sex marriage in California, told The Hollywood Reporter that the union will now develop an action plan based on the findings from the study. (The two unions became one in 2012.)

The good news, said study co-author M. V. Lee Badgett, is that virtually no one thought things were getting worse for the gay agenda. “The survey results show both progress and indications that more work will be necessary to make the workplace an equal and fully welcoming place for LGBT performers,” Badgett said.

While their website claims the Williams Institute is “independent,” they are transparently on the gay left.  In 2008, Curve Magazine named Badgett one of the twenty most powerful lesbians in academia. The Advocate magazine named her one of “Our Best and Brightest Activists” in 1999 for her research and for her efforts to found the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies (now merged with the Williams Institute).

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis