LGBT Actors

09/27/2013 2:56 pm0 commentsViews: 6

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – 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.

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