Dustin Lance Black: Clint Eastwood Never Made a Change to Gay Storyline in ‘J Edgar’

Dustin Lance Black talks to NYC's Next magazine about the Broadway debut of 8, the play he wrote about the federal case challenging Proposition 8, and the forthcoming J Edgar Hoover biopic directed by Clint Eastwood.

Hammer_dicaprio Says Black of J Edgar:

“I wrote this with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine company, and there was never any limitation in terms of where I could or should go except they were very interested in finally figuring out the truth about Hoover. We all wanted to find out what really happened. What was his sexuality. What did it look like. I wanted to get to the truth of his political work and the things that deserve applause and things that were heinous. The gay stuff was only ever going to be a third of it. It’s not Milk, but it’s there. When I finished a draft I liked, and think I got to what the truth is, it’s a story that reflects what gay life was like pre-Stonewall, which was very different from what it looked like for Harvey Milk. That’s the script Clint and the studio read and I’ll tell you what—not only did Clint and the studio never cut or change a word, they never had a note about it. Clint said some things that were so incredibly moving that he understood the struggle young gays go through today. If anything, Clint made it even more human and universal.”

Eight Isn't Enough [next magazine]

You may have missed…
Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood on Gay Issues, J Edgar [tr]
Is Clint Eastwood Planning to 'De-Gay' the J Edgar Hoover Biopic? [tr]


  1. Sarina says

    Something must have been lost in translation. Yesterday, Clint and Leo were giving us the “it’s totally not gay” schtick and now Dustin Lance Black is saying it acknowledges the gay element. This is really confusing. I feel like I’m watching an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

  2. Roger says

    White washing The Clint’s half-century of homophobic remarks and behavior should have been enough for La Black to demand a better, more tolerant Director. But no. Hollywood Whore Writer caves to anti-gay establishment for own riches regardless of ‘the Truth’ …shame.

  3. newcityspot says

    I don’t know what it is, but there is something about Clint Eastwood that makes me give him utter respect. It seems like everyone that works with him says the same thing. He seems to be a really stand-up kinda man.

  4. Memarch says

    “it’s a story that reflects what gay life was like pre-Stonewall.”

    Haven’t seen the movie yet. “Gay life”, even pre-Stonewall, involved gay sex. I hope the creators of the movie realize that. If in fact, the sexual component of the story has been completely excised, it is a terrible disservice to the gay community – another important historical figure de-homo-sexualized by Hollywood in order to make a buck.

  5. BobN says

    “it’s a story that reflects what gay life was like pre-Stonewall.”

    Cuz every gay person before Stonewall was a closeted, high government official inflicted injustice and terror on all the other closeted, high government gay officials?

    I’m confused.

  6. Zlick says

    Sex between Hoover and Tolson is conjecture. There’s no witnesses, and no one knows if it for sure happened except those two dead guys. Everyone “knows” it happened because they spent every evening of their professional lives together and often vacationed together.

    If this is enough for most of humanity to assume they were gay lovers, then why can’t the film just leave it at that, and let the audience assume what they will from the known facts?

  7. Rin says


    As people get older they can either become more set in their ways or get wiser. Unforgiven was Clint’s apology western, and he’s spent a lot of time trying to make poignant movies about the suffering of minorities, women, etc.

    You should be happy that he’s changing instead of being ticked at how he was. No one can change their own past, they can only move forward a better person.

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