The idea that Hollywoodland is filled to the brim with gay-friendly liberals may be more myth than fact if the findings from a new study are to be believed.
UCLA’s LGBT think tank Williams Institute surveyed 5,700 SAG-AFTRA members, and the results paint a different picture than is often cited in the media.
Here are some of their findings:
- More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual performers “have heard directors and producers make anti-gay comments about actors” and that “53 percent of LGBT respondents believed that directors and producers are biased against LGBT performers.”
- More than a third of respondents reported that they had witnessed “disrespectful treatment” to LGBT performers on the set. Almost one in eight of non-LGBT performers reported witnessing discrimination against LGBT performers, including anti-gay comments by crew, directors and producers.
- According to the study, “gay men were the most likely to report they have experienced some form of discrimination, with one in five reporting an experience.
- Gender nonconforming gay and bisexual men were more likely to experience discrimination, as were men who were out professionally.
- Twenty percent of gay men and 13 percent of lesbians who responded to the survey reported that they had experienced discrimination in the workplace.
- “While 53 percent of lesbian and gay actors were out to all or most of their fellow actors, only 36 percent are out to all or most agents they know, and only 13 percent of actors are out to all or most industry executives.”
“Although our industry is heading in the right direction, there is clearly work left to do as certain attitudes and behaviors persist and continue to put pressure on actors to stay in the closet,” wrote Traci Godfrey and Jason Stuart, national co-chairs of the SAG-AFTRA LGBT Committee. “We are confident that this unprecedented study will have profound ramifications for the entertainment industry as a whole. By utilizing the data it contains as it reflects the realities performers face, we can identify the obstacles to equal employment opportunities and full inclusion.”
Despite the more troubling findings, 72 percent of gay respondents said that coming out “had no effect on their careers, and many would encourage other LGBT performers to come out.”