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Homosexual Director Don Roos: Openly Gay Actors Are Distracting to ‘Homophobic Audiences’

Surprisingly, shady gay publicist Howard Bragman wasn’t the most exciting thing at Saturday’s Outfest panel “Coming Out in Hollywood.” That honor goes to Don Roos, the gay director who doesn’t want gay actors coming out.

It’s bad for their careers, Happy Endings director Roos told the audience, mimicking last year’s Outfest panel remarks by Emmy-winning director Todd Holland. Out gay actors simply won’t get cast as straight leads, says Roos, seen here with a confirmed transgender actress: “I think the relationship between an audience and an actor is a very complicated thing, especially in a romantic lead. When you’re in a movie theater, what’s on the screen isn’t necessarily appealing to your best instincts. Most of the audience is going to be homophobic, they’re mostly violent in their hearts and that’s what they’re responding to on the screen and you can’t wait to have a career until the audience is not homophobic. That’s never going to happen. … In a romantic role, it can be very distracting for the audience to not be able to give themselves to a particular character. Like when I was watching Philadelphia — I knew [Tom Hanks] was straight.”

He followed that up by telling blogger Greg Hernandez, “I kept feeling distracted knowing that he wasn’t really gay. I was admiring him and thinking, ‘Oh my God, how well he’s playing that.’ The more I know about any actor about anything, the more distracting it is. I’m just saying in general, the more I know about an actor and his personal life and his personal beliefs, the less useful it is to me as a director. Sometimes I’m distracted because I’m mad that it isn’t a gay actor playing that role. Whatever your political thing is, it interferes with the storytelling.”

Which sounds like he’s saying it’s smarter for actors to stay out the tabloids than it is to stay out of the closet.

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  • Paulo

    I agree. When I watched Friday the 13th I was distracted by the fact that the actor playing Jason wasn’t a killer in real life.

    Do, you fucking AIDS waste tool!!

  • Paulo

    I agree. When I saw Friday the 13th I was distracted by the fact that the actor playing Jason wasn’t a killer.

    Don, you fucking AIDS waste tool!

  • Cam

    This is the problem with many of the gays in Hollywood. They have totally bought into the self hatred. If Spike Lee came out and said “I don’t cast black actors becaue they are disctracting to racist audiences.” He would be drumed out of the city. It just shows that the hollywood gays are so indoctrinated into the homophobia that they are part of the problem.

    Brokeback Mountain made a tone of money, yet no big studio pictures with a gay theme have come out since. Scream made less and didn’t get any award nominations yet it spawned two sequals (Soon to be 3) and a host of copycats. Why is that? Will and Grace made a ton of money and ran for years yet the people in Modern Family had to be forced to do an episode next season expalining why they’ve never had a gay kiss.

    Again, hollywood, and even hollywood gays like to pretend they are so accepting, but they are among the worst of the worst.


    @Paulo: You read my freaking mind!…..Its just so damm hard to get serial killers to flock to the open auditions for the part of serial killers also. Because they tend to simply all want to kill each other auditioning for the part!!!

    Its called “acting” you “act” to portray the role. If you are a really good actor guess what???? it kinda sorta works. I knew Hanks was straight yet I still cried like a freaking little girl at the end………..

  • ForeverGay

    There are a lot of gay people who are water carriers of heterosexual prejudices. Don Roos is in the same category as Larry Craig; they both live for what haterosexuals say and do. Don Roos is using his supposed distraction of a heterosexual playing gay to confuse people into believing what he says. In reality he has cast heterosexuals as gay characters several times in his movies. He wants to keep gay actors’ careers limited, he doesn’t want gay men to “taint” his fantasies of haterosexual males as being superior and the gatekeepers of masculinity.

  • ToddFX

    Hate it but smart advice based on the way hollywood operates. Actors must abide or not get the leads roles – I’ve heard through a good source that even the prominent coming-out in the last year is now regretting. Only so many host, musical, and ensemble roles available.

  • Cam

    @ToddFX: If you’re insinuating that Neil Patrick Harris is regretting it, I’m doubting it. you forgot to mention that he happens to be the star of a hit TV show and making a fortune on it.

    And I just love this whole…well, it’s the way Hollywood operates. Fine, if ANY other business “Operated” that way they would be sued into oblivion. Time to have OSHA etc… go after the movie studios. OK, you made this many movies last year, there wasn’t one gay or hispanic actor in any of them…you have been reported as a disciminatory hiring business, you have a year to remedy this or you will be fined 10 million.

    I have a feeling things would change within a week.

  • Tantrum

    The same question was asked at a panel discussion from gay and lesbian screenwriters and not one them said an actor needs to come out. What Roos is saying is true…how will we ever watch a Mel Gibson movie the same now? I love how everyone gets all political about this when its NOT THEIR CAREER on the line. I don’t blame any actor because ultimately, this is nobody’s business.

  • L.

    “The more I know about any actor about anything, the more distracting it is.”

    Um. So you did not know anything about *Tom Hanks* when you saw ‘Philadelphia’? Say what?

  • Cam

    @Tantrum: said…

    The same question was asked at a panel discussion from gay and lesbian screenwriters and not one them said an actor needs to come out. What Roos is saying is true…how will we ever watch a Mel Gibson movie the same now? I love how everyone gets all political about this when its NOT THEIR CAREER on the line. I don’t blame any actor because ultimately, this is nobody’s business.

    My question, why is it that every single other business in the country would be sued if people at the top of the business were saying things like this? It’s time hollywood had to play by the same laws as everybody else. Fine, this guy just admitted he doesn’t hire openly gay actors…good, time for the govt. to go after him.

    Your comment is akin to saying “Look, it’s better for light skinned blacks to pass as white at this Car manufacturing plant…why are you getting all political, thats just the way it is!

    Saying “Thats just the way it is” has always been a fallback to defend bigotry or racism.

  • Kyle412

    Following this philosophy then nobody should come out I guess. Wall Street Bankers, school teachers, garbage men, etc. should stay closeted? Growing up I didn’t see gays in these roles so I guess it didn’t fit my “fantasy” of what life was. Gays should only come out if they are drag queens, work in a gay bar or are fashion designers. It sounds like Roos is saying it’s only okay to be out if you fit the stereotype. When this advice is heard by the younger generation I wonder how they will interpret it. Roos is an idiot and I will no longer see his films.

  • jack

    I could not enjoy “Brokeback Mountain” knowing it was directed by a straight director. Roos made a statement about Tom Hanks (wink) but it was overlooked.

    Can we please get a wide-release mainstream movie in which NONE of the gay characters die at the end?

  • Chipsy

    He’s just saying the world is the way it is. If you crave money and fame you ain’t going to do and say the same things as a person who wants to be some big gay hero.

  • j.c

    then we should all go back in the closet then, huh?

    Brain washed gays (who end up believeing they are lesser than) need to be removed from society. Ideally in a middle eastern country when they can really appreciate being gay and sympathize with the cause. I can’t stand homos who have one foot in the closet and one foot out. You can’t be gay and advocate for people to stay in the closet…that makes you a hypocritical, bigoted, ass hat.

  • Hope

    I’m hoping NPH enjoys his ensemble straight man role now, will be his last. Good thing he’s good at musical numbers and ensemble casts – no leading man role in future. The facts are the facts. Queerty regulars are so tragic giving show business advice from middle america…lol.

  • Marcus

    Here’s a question I’ve been asking today:

    Does Don Roos get ‘distracted’ by watching his closeted actor colleagues playing straight in films?


    I agree with you 100%

    I work here in Hollywood, and that’s all you see. There’s almost a resentment of the public, you know the people seeing these movies? It seems to me not only did the Don Roos’ of the world here buy into the homophobia, they now are selling it and in a way hoping it continues. Don offered nothing to remedy this problem.


    Yeah. Let Roos tell it, audiences will always be homophobic so actors must stay in the closet FOREVER.


    Even if you crave the money & fame, doesn’t mean your going to get it. When you achieve what a Brad Pitt has, it’s one in a million. It’s like winning the lottery. A lot of these actors are staying in the closet in vain.

  • Kevin

    @Hope: Aww Hope. You’re God doesn’t exist, and we are taking over mainstream media. We’re everywhere and there IS a gay mafia and we are indeed out to convert your kids into believing gay is OK so better get used to it dearie because gay is just getting started. Not to mention we’ll sue the sheeeyeet out of you and can do so and have it down to an art. That’s right, be scared little one, but trolling our sites won’t change the fact that gay is EVERYWHERE.

  • j.c

    @Hope: Niel Patrick Harris is at the height of his career. There was an online poll on Access Hollywood of which actor would most likely win an Best Actor Oscar in the next 3 years and Niel won by a large margin. And he’s gay which makes it all the more enjoyable to support him. Who cares about middle America? They can overeat themselves at a walmart till death looms. I agree with poster above, what ARE you doing on queerty? fixated on us? Thanks for the attention.

  • IonMusic


    Oh, look folks, that Iraqi Newsweek editor has made an appearance on our blog. Seems like somebody has some spare time on their hands after the backlash as a result of their ignorant drivel. NPL is probably the most exposed celebrity on air. I know, I know, better open that Quran and start praying for his sins Mr. Ramen Noodle.

  • IonMusic

    @Tantrum: Comparing Mel Gibson to an out gay man is one of the most vile, disgusting sickening things I’ve read on here. Get the f*ck off our site you monster. You’re lucky you didn’t say that to one of our faces. Of course you’d hide behind a computer screen with three different screenames like hope and Toddfx. Man up and own up to your own word coward without having to pretend to be 12 different people.

  • Jeb

    hahahahahahaha – lol lol lol – hahahahaha. do you even read you own rants – this is hysterical shit! classic – like anyone really cares about this crap.also, noticed the use of ‘dearie’ in a post – showing your aarp card. hahahahahaha lol.I’m going to direct some others to this riot for kicks!

  • MickW

    Well it is true that the less you know about an actor the better it is for an audience, just ask Tom Cruise – people went to see his movies before and now everyone thinks he’s crazy so they don’t go see his movies anymore….that’s life as an actor.

  • Daniel

    @Jeb – u’r funny – wanna date?

  • observer

    Oh look guys, pea sized brain breeders are on our blogs using different handles. “Daniel” “Jeb” “Hope” “ToddFX” Tantrum” let’s start taking bets on what name they’ll use in their next post. Maybe Jesusisfake? Centrum? Genesis? Str8menallwantgaysexlives? lol I live for trolls on the comments section. They’re writing styles just scream “I’m really obsessed with what goes on in your worlds”….COME ON IN BOYS, but please, sign with one consistent anonymous handle. It’s more fun for us that way.

  • J.C

    @observer: Hatersexuals are good for two things: popping out babbies from their twats and getting cancer.

  • IonMusic

    @J.C: @Jeb:
    Time to drink your milk, jack off then go to bed little one. Barney & friends isn’t on till another few [email protected]J.C: You forgot their divorce rates. It’s like 9 out of 10 of them end up cursing each other out on t.v after having a lavish reception infront of “God” regarding how much they love each other (until Dad porks the babysitter)

  • Jesusismagic

    Keep dreaming. We control Hollywood behind the scenes. why do you think there’s gay characters on virtually every show? Hollywood = gay and Neil PH is right now our poster boy. That just kills you inside doesn’t it “hope”…:)

  • T.L Miley

    Why don’t we start enforcing straights to go back in the closet? You think it’s believable for me to see Dennis flippin’ Leary as a firefighter with his methface knowing he’d rather be on an overnight drug binge rather than saving one persons life? no, but he got the role. All gays should come out from hiding and lead their lives for themselves. Simple as that.

  • Michael

    “At the movies, most in the audience are homophobic and mostly violent in their hearts…” wOw! Thanks for letting me know. Next time I go to the movies, I’ll pack heat.

  • Jeffree

    Roos seems stuck in like 1985.
    I’m not sure if there’s a cure for “time-warp” other than retirement !

  • Samwise

    “Most of the audience is going to be homophobic, they’re mostly violent in their hearts and that’s what they’re responding to on the screen and you can’t wait to have a career until the audience is not homophobic. That’s never going to happen.”

    Wow. Thanks, man. So you think your audience – all your fans, the people who pay to see your movies and keep you in business – are a bunch of violent homophobes who will NEVER EVER get beyond that. Seriously, thank you. I can tell you respect us all very much. That really makes me want to give you my money.

  • jason

    I’ve always said that Hollywood is based on the marketing of male heterosexual fantasy. As for Don Roos, I think he’s got a point but he’s also got to understand that he may be reinforcing negative sentiments towards openly gay actors. He shouldn’t be reinforcing the negative.

    We in the GLBT community could just as easily boycott Roos’s movies as it takes to dust an armchair.

  • ewe

    Roos is a disgrace for promoting the heterosexual agenda. SHAME.

  • ewe

    I happen to think women of a certain age should not be blonde.

  • samthor

    its the homophobic haters that need to change…. not us.

  • Michael

    I’m not lucky enough to be a movie star, but this advice will make me feel better about including a bogus a Harvard degree on my CV. I mean, anybody can learn to act, and why not fake your way to the top?

  • David Ehrenstein

    Don’s just upset that his actor boyfriend, Dan Bucatinsky, will never become a star.

    Same with Todd Holland and Scoth Ellis Loring.

  • oatc

    All fiction movies are an artifice, spun to suspend disbelief. Its not just the on screen talent, its everything is not how it appears on screen: dozens of crew are standing around when characters seem to alone, scenes are shot out of sequence, locations may be miles apart but used as if immediately adjacent. Indeed the greatest movies transport us into a world so separate from our own that we escape entirely for an entranced couple of hours. And that is all at the hands of the director. If Roos, as a director, had any faith in his work he would never suggest that audiences would be unable to believe in it because they knew something about one of the on-screen talent.

    Does he not realise that the same logic would say that directors should use white actors wearing blackface because it would distract knowing that actors playing African-American roles were really Black?

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