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Is Hollywood "Gay" Enough?

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Now, I have no problem with gay characters. I have no problem with men going on dates together, women going on dates together in shows, etc.

The LGBT community needs to realize that they are a minority though and most people don't want to, nor do they need to see a gay character in every show. They also don't need to and don't want to see gay characters engaging in sexual activity on a show. Hell, most people have an issue watching two straight people going at it in a show.

I just think this is one of those things that the LGBT community is making too much of a big deal about...

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http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/TV/04/06/is.hollywood.gay.enough/index.html?iref=obnetwork

(CNN) -- Whether they're raising their adopted baby girl, dodging homophobic quips from their fraternity brothers or teaching the "Single Ladies" dance to the football team after glee club, it seems gay characters are becoming a vital part of prime time TV.

With characters like "Modern Family's" Mitchell and Cameron, Calvin from "Greek" and Kurt from "Glee," the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on scripted programs has just about doubled since 2005, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation.

And characters will continue to identify as LGBT as time goes on, such as "Ugly Betty's" Justin, who recently had his first same-sex kiss. But Jarrett Barrios, president of GLAAD said, "We still have a long way to go before we're fully represented [on] TV."

In addition to the increasing number LGBT characters on scripted shows, which currently represents a little more than 3 percent of all leading and supporting characters on broadcast networks, there are also more openly gay actors and producers working in Hollywood, says Barrios.

Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson plays the character Mitchell on the ABC prime time show "Modern Family." Like his on-screen role, Ferguson himself is openly gay.

"The opportunity to play not only a well developed gay character, but a dad, a son and brother was really appealing to me. ... I chose to play him very close to myself and I think that truthfulness was appealing to the creators," Ferguson told CNN.

However, Ferguson says his sexual orientation does not make him any more qualified to tackle a gay role than Eric Stonestreet, his straight co-star who plays Mitchell's partner Cameron.

"As a gay man and as someone who is an advocate for equality, truthfulness and fairness, I want to see more gay roles go to gay actors," Ferguson said in an e-mail. "But then on the flip side, as an actor, I want to still be given the opportunity to play roles that are straight."

In a recent interview on The Joy Behar Show , Stonestreet said he's excited he has been given the opportunity to portray one half of a committed gay couple raising a child -- a first, he said, for broadcast TV.

"Our goal is to make people laugh, but while we're making people laugh, if we can open a couple minds here and there, that's also an added benefit," he said.

And while shows like "Modern Family" are working to open peoples' minds about same-sex parents, the "L" and the "T," of LGBT, are still waiting for their TV time, said Hollywood casting director Tammara Billik.

It's very common for female characters to be portrayed as bisexuals instead of lesbians, she said.

"I wouldn't say it's because of a discomfort with lesbianism, it's just an interest in bisexuality," Billik said. "[People] think it's hot, and it gives characters a wide variety of storylines."

And as far as the "T," she said, "transgender people are not represented in our daily lives with the same frequency that gay and lesbian people are. It's harder to find an audience that will embrace a transgender character."

Sean Smith, the executive producer of ABC Family's "Greek," said he has loaned some of his own experiences as an openly gay man to the show. And when casting, an actor's sexual orientation does not come into play.

"When you're in casting, it's not appropriate or legal to say, 'Hey, are you gay?' Whether they're gay, straight, from the South, British or from Mars, it doesn't matter. The best person who captures that character gets the job."

And for Smith, straight actor Paul James was the best person for the role of Calvin Owens, a gay member of Omega Chi, a fictional fraternity on "Greek."

James said he doesn't think twice about the intimacy between him and the three actors he's made out with on the series. His girlfriend doesn't either. It's just acting, he says.

But with the exception of Neil Patrick Harris, who came out in 2006, playing a straight character on "How I Met Your Mother," straight actors are more often tapped for gay roles, rather than the other way around. Or so it seems.

"Many gay actors, who are not out in Hollywood, are afraid (coming out) will compromise their ability to get roles," Barrios said. "But [LGBT] actors need to feel as if they can be who they are and still make it in Hollywood or homophobia wins."

Both Ferguson and Smith identified themselves as gay before beginning careers in Hollywood, but Smith said he understands why some people are apprehensive about coming out once they're in the spotlight.

"People want to succeed and avoid any potential pitfalls, and coming out is definitely one that can draw attention to you that might make other people in this town fearful of hiring you," said Smith. "For me, I've never really questioned it. I've worked with great guys. For them it wasn't an issue, but I'm aware of other parts of this industry."

People want to watch characters they can relate to, said Smith, who was very excited to welcome "Modern Family" into his living room.

"Jesse and I ... get so many compliments from gay couples and lesbian couples that want to introduce us to their kids and thank us for representing them on TV for the first time," Stonestreet told Behar.

But still, "Modern Family" isn't hitting viewers over the head with Cameron and Mitchell's physical intimacy.

"We're the perfect show to just build it in naturally, not draw a bunch of attention to it," Stonestreet said.

For Ferguson, it's a non-issue.

"I want the viewers to know Mitchell and Cameron's sex and love life is just fine," Ferguson wrote. "They also have regular bowel movements, but that is something you don't see either."


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I wanna see a recurring Muslims character on a normal American comedy show. Every show should have a Muslim. This would dispell a lot of the stereotypes people have about Muslims. Gays have pretty much achieved their objectives over the last 10 or so years. Only legalizing gay marriage remains. Probably aother 5 more years before that too is also achieved.


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The flaw in your thinking is that you try to speak for "most people" when you really mean yourself; and that somehow you believe that everyone must share your opinion.

If you have an opinion on the article, state it. Your opinion about how I feel or not feel is completely irrelevant. How about challenging my point instead of attacking me?


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I have no problem with there being a gay person in every show. I'm with you on not really wanting to see a lot of heavy pda, but that goes for straight couples as well. As an aside, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the gay character on Glee.

I watch HGTV almost exclusively, (based in Atlanta, I think,) and I'm a little amused at how many gay couples and mixed couples are represented on shows like Get It Sold, Bang For Your Buck, Designed To Sell, etc. It's WAY over the national average!! I have no problem with it, but I think it's a little humorous. I figure my husband and I will have a good chance of qualifying for one of those shows if we ever want to.


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If you have an opinion on the article, state it. Your opinion about how I feel or not feel is completely irrelevant. How about challenging my point instead of attacking me?

I believe I did challenge your point and you would have seen that if you didn't insist on being oversensitive.

Your opinion is that for "most people" that there is too much gayness and sex on TV and that "most people" do not approve of this. You are assuming that "most people" share your personal opinion.

LGBT characters on scripted shows, which currently represents a little more than 3 percent of all leading and supporting characters on broadcast networks

3% doesn't seem like oversaturation.

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I wanna see a recurring Muslims character on a normal American comedy show. Every show should have a Muslim. This would dispell a lot of the stereotypes people have about Muslims. Gays have pretty much achieved their objectives over the last 10 or so years. Only legalizing gay marriage remains. Probably aother 5 more years before that too is also achieved.

Doesn't Canada have a comedy series about a Muslim family? I've never seen it, but I remember reading about it when it first piloted a year or two ago. Did it last?


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6/30/10 - Interview: 10:30 (Day 77) APPROVED!!!

6/30/10 - EAD received in the mail

7/19/10 - GC in hand! (Day 96) .

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Doesn't Canada have a comedy series about a Muslim family? I've never seen it, but I remember reading about it when it first piloted a year or two ago. Did it last?

Little Mosque on the Prairie. And Yes.


Don't just open your mouth and prove yourself a fool....put it in writing.

It gets harder the more you know. Because the more you find out, the uglier everything seems.

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I have to agree actually. I want different groups of people represented, which includes different races and religions.

Cynthia Nixon recently spoke of this, and how all of the gay entertainers she knows are British, other than Ellen.

As it is, whenever the subject of homosexuality comes up in front of my in-laws, my MIL chimes in with "I don't have a problem with gay people" when no one even questioned that - which gives the impression that the disclaimer is there for a reason. I've also been at the cinema or a show when gay people are presented, and the scenes are full of sexual innuendos which makes the crowd laugh, but I honestly don't find it funny. It's just gay people making sex references, why is this funny? Is it because it's still seen as controversial? Because if it were a straight couple making the same jokes, it wouldn't be seen as funny.

To the OP, since when does American TV usually even show sexual activity? As far as I've seen, everything is censored, even after 10 or 11pm. There might be kissing, and references to sex, but that's it. And if people don't want to see homosexual activity on TV, then that says to me that there's still a problem with it. What's wrong with two men kissing?

British soaps have long since shown gay PDA scenes, we have gay presenters at prime time TV, we have gay prison dramas, and even shows for teenagers starring lesbian characters. I think it's about time Hollywood caught on.

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I have to agree actually. I want different groups of people represented, which includes different races and religions.

Cynthia Nixon recently spoke of this, and how all of the gay entertainers she knows are British, other than Ellen.

As it is, whenever the subject of homosexuality comes up in front of my in-laws, my MIL chimes in with "I don't have a problem with gay people" when no one even questioned that - which gives the impression that the disclaimer is there for a reason. I've also been at the cinema or a show when gay people are presented, and the scenes are full of sexual innuendos which makes the crowd laugh, but I honestly don't find it funny. It's just gay people making sex references, why is this funny? Is it because it's still seen as controversial? Because if it were a straight couple making the same jokes, it wouldn't be seen as funny.

To the OP, since when does American TV usually even show sexual activity? As far as I've seen, everything is censored, even after 10 or 11pm. There might be kissing, and references to sex, but that's it. And if people don't want to see homosexual activity on TV, then that says to me that there's still a problem with it. What's wrong with two men kissing?

British soaps have long since shown gay PDA scenes, we have gay presenters at prime time TV, we have gay prison dramas, and even shows for teenagers starring lesbian characters. I think it's about time Hollywood caught on.

Nothing on showtime ;)

Let's be honest. Men kissing is not attractive at all and kind of disturbing. Women kissing on the other hand, bring it on!! It's not because it's 'gay' or whatever, it's the same as with anything. Women are just prettier to watch than men!


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Nothing on showtime ;)

Let's be honest. Men kissing is not attractive at all and kind of disturbing. Women kissing on the other hand, bring it on!! It's not because it's 'gay' or whatever, it's the same as with anything. Women are just prettier to watch than men!

That was actually one of the points that Cynthia Nixon was trying to make. Gay men are seen as weak and unattractive to both men (who think they're being hit on) and women (who know they're unobtainable). Gay women are seen as sexy and their sexuality is more fluid (can go back to men at any moment).

If we're to move on, we need to get rid of these stereotypes and perceptions. Gay is gay... I don't care if two men are kissing. And I think the more it's shown, the less shocking it will be.

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That was actually one of the points that Cynthia Nixon was trying to make. Gay men are seen as weak and unattractive to both men (who think they're being hit on) and women (who know they're unobtainable). Gay women are seen as sexy and their sexuality is more fluid (can go back to men at any moment).

If we're to move on, we need to get rid of these stereotypes and perceptions. Gay is gay... I don't care if two men are kissing. And I think the more it's shown, the less shocking it will be.

It has nothing to do with being shocking. It's just less attractive.

I know plenty of straight women who have no problem going to a strip club. However the odds of you seeing a straight guy at a male strip club at slim to nil.

Men aren't pretty to look at. Men aren't 'pretty' especially to other men in a sexual way (unless you're gay).

Women are more beautiful than men. It truly is that simple. There's a beauty there that men and women can apprecaite regrdless of sexual orientation. I have a couple of gay friends who think the idea of sex with a woman is disgusting, but enjoy the female form because of its beauty. You just don't see that the other way around.


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The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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