Dustin Lance Black has slammed Hollywood’s homophobia problem, specifically discussing the issue of LGBT+ actors remaining in the closet.
Describing the current political climate, he tells the new issue of Attitude magazine: “We’re in one right now, a worldwide backlash where people are talking about building walls and closing borders instead of understanding and embracing their neighbour.
“I hope to inspire a new generation to stand up and fight back and protect what we have in a moment of darkness like this.”
Calling out “agents and managers” for their “outdated” assumptions that viewers are put off if an actor is open about their sexual or gender identity, he continues: “They’re the ones who have an outdated notion of the price an actor might pay if it’s discovered that they’re LGBTQ.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.”
However, he does still have some strong words for the actors concerned, adding: “I have no respect for someone who lies about their sexuality.
“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.”
The screenwriter’s greatest career accolade so far has been his work on the Harvey Milk biopic, ‘Milk’, for which he won the Academy Award (which Sam Smith could probably have done with knowing before he infamously opened his mouth at last year’s Oscars).
Speaking to HuffPost UK last year as part of our ‘Loud And Proud’ series, he said he wanted to share the inspiring story to help young LGBT+ people feel, explaining: “[Harvey Milk’s story] was life-saving for me. I wanted to share it in case it helped others, but the story of one gay man isn’t going to do it.
“Until recently, Hollywood wasn’t there to support a production of easily accessible hero journeys for LGBT people. I think it’s incredibly important for young people who, as they come of age and might start hearing negative messages about who they are, that they also have a history of their forefathers and foremothers that they can draw inspiration from.
“There are many more stories we need to tell.”
Read Dustin Lance Black’s full interview in the February issue of Attitude magazine, out now.