V. Lee Badgett in a press release. The first report of its kind backs up what L.A. Weekly found four years ago in its cover story “The Secret Lives of Queer Leading Men,” in which gay actors complained that Hollywood executives are stuck in a mind set that befits the 1970s rather than 2009. According to the report, which was conducted by the UCLA gay think tank Williams Institute and the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, “one-third of all survey respondents believed that casting directors, directors, and producers may be biased against LGBT performers.” In addition, researchers found that “almost half of lesbian and gay (LG) respondents and 27 percent of bisexual respondents, for example, strongly agreed that producers and studio executives think LG performers are less marketable.” See the report: “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Diversity in Entertainment: Experiences and Perspectives of SAG-AFTRA Members.” Researchers also found that “SAG-AFTRA members provide a supportive environment for LGBT performers; and many lesbian and gay respondents said they would encourage others to come out.” In 2009, the Weekly noted: “Public-opinion surveys reveal that Americans’ acceptance of gays and lesbians has dramatically increased since the 1970s. Adolescent boys and girls are coming out during middle school in such places as rural Arkansas and Texas, far from the gay urban enclaves of San Francisco, West Hollywood and New York City. “But the Hollywood machine — studio heads, agents and casting directors — is a surprisingly conservative entity. Its power players think Americans can’t handle gay actors in straight-leading man roles . Their greatest fear is not some sort of social upheaval but that audiences would be uncomfortable seeing a known gay actor like Cheyenne Jackson kissing or fondling Kate Winslet, and box-office earnings would nose-dive.” Money, in other words, is the bottom line, and Hollywood executives think paying audiences won’t spend their dollars on a movie with a gay actor playing straight, causing a box-office dud. Yet public attitudes have changed even more dramatically between 2009 and 2013, and surveys continue to show that Hollywood’s key demographic — 18 to 34 year olds — don’t care one whit if someone is gay. A recent Gallup poll showed that 69 percent of American 18 to 34 year olds support same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The UCLA report shows that Hollywood power players, who appear to be basing their box-office concerns on anything but hard data, are still stuck in a time warp.
They claim the incident took place because of their race. Johnson, best known for her roles in TV shows “Punky Brewster” and “Family Matters,” and White, from the movie “Notorious,” are speaking out about their treatment by a Marion County sheriff’s deputy on September 22. “I’ve been stopped by the police before, but I’ve never been fearful for my life,” Johnson told CNN on Sunday. “They need some kind of sensitivity training.” The Marion County sheriff issued a statement on Monday promising to investigate the allegations of racial profiling. The couple, who were in the area after conducting an acting workshop in North Carolina, shared White’s account with freelance writer Krystol Diggs, who posted it to CNN iReport . CNN could not independently verify their account but spoke directly to Johnson and Diggs about the incident. Johnson and White say they were on their way to Myrtle Beach for a quick romantic getaway when they pulled off the rural highway and parked by a cotton field. Johnson said she had never seen cotton before and told White she wanted to take a picture. As the couple walked back to the car, they said, they noticed a police car with its lights on parked behind theirs. White and Johnson, who are both African-American, say the white officer harshly questioned them about drugs — he found none — and the cash he found in their bags. Johnson was the national cheer representative for the Just Say No to Drugs campaign in the ’80s. According to White’s account, Officer Shad Barfield told Johnson there was a warrant for her arrest, which she disputed, and the officer later recanted. He handcuffed White and then Johnson but did not arrest them. “He told me …
Hollywood pedestrian killed in hit-and-run crash
21 at the Beverly Hilton. Joe Pugliese Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and supporting actress Lupita Nyong’o will receive the Hollywood Breakout Director Award and New Hollywood Award, respectively, at the17thannual Hollywood Film Awards, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. our editor recommends Oscars: Who Gains From ‘Foxcatcher,’ ‘Grace of Monaco’ and ‘Immigrants’ Bumps? (Analysis) The event, held on Oct. 21 at the Beverly Hilton, is the first awards show of the 2013 season.(The Hollywood Film Awards is owned by affiliates ofTHRparent company Guggenheim Partners.) Previous recipients of the Hollywood Breakout Director Award include Ben Affleck, Paul Haggis, John Patrick Shanley, Lee Daniels, Michel Hazanavicius and Dustin Hoffman. And previous recipients of the New Hollywood Award include Robert Pattinson, Gabourey Sidibe, Jennifer Lawrence, Felicity Jones and Quvenzhane Wallis. FILM REVIEW: ’12 Years a Slave’ McQueen, 43, is a British filmmaker who has heretofore earned considerable critical acclaim for his first two feature films, Hunger (2008), a drama about an IRA hunger striker which won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and Shame (2011), a drama about a sex addict which won several prizes at the Venice Film Festival. (Both of those films star Michael Fassbender, who also plays a prominent part in 12 Years a Slave.) Nyong’o, 30, is a Mexican-born, Kenyan-raised and Yale School of Drama-educated actress. Heretofore best known as the star of MTV’s award-winning series Shuga, a Kenyan-set soap opera, she won the role of Patsey — a slave who receives particularly unkind attention from her master and his wife — in 12 Years a Slave shortly after her 2012 graduation from Yale. “It was like finding Scarlett O’Hara,” McQueen has said, noting that 1,000 girls auditioned for the part. Nyong’o will next star opposite Liam Neeson in Jaume Collet-Serra’s Non-Stop. 12 Years a Slave is a drama based on the remarkable true story of a free black man from the north who was deceived and sold into slavery in the south in mid-19th century America.
Hollywood couple stopped by police, say they were racially profiled
A longtime friend says she went by the name Unique. “That was the first girl I met out here,” said friend Andrew Scott. “The good die young.” The suspect’s vehicle was described as a light-colored older model Ford Thunderbird. L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino says there’s been an alarming rash of hit-and-run crashes in the Los Angeles area. He proposes offering a standing reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of drivers who flee the scene of an accident. He believes the reward will encourage witnesses to speak up. “It’s time to send a clear signal,” Buscaino said. “If you leave the scene of an accident, you are a coward. You are a criminal, and you will be treated as such.” L.A. officials are also encouraging state lawmakers to make the penalties for hit-and-runs on par with the penalties for DUI offenses. If you have any information about the Hollywood hit-and-run, you’re asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division at (213) 485-4302.