Emmy-winning director Todd Holland has issued an apology for language he used at an Outfest panel over the weekend when he suggested that gay actors should stay in the closet if they wish to succeed in the business.
Said Holland: "As an openly gay man in Hollywood, I know firsthand the tremendous challenges that people throughout the industry face in terms of being open about who they are. For people who know me, they know that I believe it's important for people to live openly and authentically, and I am sorry for my poorly chosen words at Outfest. At the end of the day, I hope my comments do not prevent us from having honest, thoughtful conversations about the significant barriers that make being an out actor in Hollywood an ongoing obstacle."
Holland did not go so far as to recant the advice.
Outfest Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer responded but did not go so far as to challenge Holland's assertion. Said Schaffer: "Coming out is a personal choice. It has become easier for many people,
but for some, especially those in high-profile professions, it is still
a challenge. Our mission at Outfest is to promote cultural and social
change through film and media arts and to encourage dialogue. Outfest
will continue to shed light on LGBT issues and, eventually, I know we
will live in a world of equality."
Activist Robin McGehee told the L.A. Weekly's Patrick McDonald that the gay community should be "challenging the machine" that keeps actors closeted. Of LGBT groups who criticize slurs made by entertainment personalities and media, she said: "If we're going to fight someone who called an actor a 'faggot' on set, we should have those same groups fighting this one."
According to McDonald, "McGehee said ending the gay closet in Hollywood was just as important
as any other gay rights struggle, adding that anti-gay legislation,
violent attacks against gays and lesbians, and people remaining in the
closet are issues that are 'inter-connected.'"