Culture of abuse

Wilson Cruz describes the “career help” he was offered when he was a “little twink”

As the Harvey Weinstein scandal continues to reverberate through the entertainment industry, more accounts of sexual harassment/assault in Hollywood are popping up left and right.

On Friday night, openly gay actors Wilson Cruz and Charlie Carver added their voices to the conversation, opening up about their own run-ins with the industry’s quid pro quo culture that has allowed countless abuses of power.

Speaking on the red carpet of LGBTQ advocacy group GLSEN’s annual Respect Awards at the Beverly Wilshire hotel, Cruz spoke of some “help” he was offered by at least one gay Hollywood exec, when he was searching for his big acting break.

“I mean, early on when I was a little twink there were people who made suggestions about how they could help me,” he said. “And you know, clearly I didn’t take them up on that because I would be far more famous than I am now!”

And while Cruz didn’t name any names, he was clear that it was “older gentlemen of a certain age who made offers.”

“I did not take them up on it, but it was uncomfortable,” he said. “I was in my 20s, and I thought: ‘Is this what one does?’ And also: ‘Am I going to ruin my career by not doing it?’ In the end, I politely said no and kept on my way.”

The My So-Called Life and Star Trek: Discovery actor continued: “But, you know, it definitely happens. I think it’s been quietly accepted as the norm in a lot of ways. People are like: ‘Oh, it happens’ and you brush it off. [But] I didn’t feel safe. I was trying to maneuver my way through Hollywood as an openly gay actor and there weren’t many examples for me at the time. I was juggling a lot of worries.”

Charlie Carver, who has appeared in The Leftovers and Teen Wolf, witnessed the same environment when he was starting out.

“There are many other people who have experienced way worse in terms of harassment, but I can identify and empathize with anybody who has gone through it,” he said. “I’m not a stranger to it. This will hopefully open up a discussion about men and power dynamics in general — maybe it has to do with exerting masculinity.”

“I wouldn’t say I was traumatized,” he added. “But it was definitely a lesson, something to move through.”

Speaking to the importance of the GLSEN ceremony, Caver drove home the point that “In this political climate more than ever, we need to reward our allies and the people who are visible in the community so that young people feel like they are being seen and that they have peers and support.”

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #entertainment #charliecarver #glsen stories and more

17 Comments

  • Danny595

    He’s just trying to get attention by piggybacking on #MeToo. This is a fellow so deficient in the characteristics of a man or boy that he was cast to play the sashaying sidekick of a high school girl and later a transgender in Rent. No one would be offering him any extra career help because an effeminate male like him has nothing to offer a potential gay suitor, predatory or otherwise.

    • Bradsman

      I’ve always thought he was very cute.

    • Armiya

      @Danny595 Sounds like a fired cast member from a 7th rate TBS show had to return to the trailer park. Please prove he’s trying to piggyback. Doesn’t matter if you’re butch or straight, a target for a predator is a target. Unlike you, some people maybe didn’t enjoy being molested.

    • geb1966

      You’re full of shit. Plenty of older predatory me like the twinks. Basic observation at any bar on any given weekend night will show this.

    • Gaytaffuk

      Oh dear, here we go again!

      Danielle595 (the 59 is his age and the 5 the length of his…) shrieking about how awful it is that an effeminate man has an opinion and is being given a chance to express that opinion.

      ‘He’s just trying to get attention by piggybacking on #MeToo.’ – that’s a very serious accusation. Are you suggesting that he’s crying ‘abuse’ where none took place? I hope you have some evidence to back that up!

      ‘This is a fellow so deficient in the characteristics of a man or boy that he was cast to play the sashaying sidekick of a high school girl and later a transgender in Rent.’ WOW, you really have your panties in a bunch about Wilson don’t you? Did he turn you down? So he’s in contact with his feminine side, how’s that a problem which directly affects you and what the hell has it got to do with you? From what I’ve seen he’s a VERY talented performer and has far more talent then I imagine you to have! What’s wrong with playing transgender (other then the fact that he’s not transgender and a transgender person could have taken that role)?

      ‘No one would be offering him any extra career help because an effeminate male like him has nothing to offer a potential gay suitor, predatory or otherwise.’ – obviously wrong because someone did, has and probably would again. I would accept him as a suitor any day over a bitter old queen like you, he’s talented, good looking and intelligent, sadly, all the things you aim to be to but cannot possibly achieve!

      Oh, I know you are going to come up with the lame, half-arsed excuse you normally use ‘I’m entitled to my opinion’ well here’s my response – yes you are, but you’re NOT entitled to undermine people because of the way they act, look or their mannerisms. If you want to disagree with people, fine, but please, have some cogent arguments to use, don’t just go on an effeminate screaming hissy fit as you did this time.

    • DCguy

      What a shock, somebody with a truckload of baggage doesn’t like an actor that is out of the closet.

  • Kangol

    I’m glad he’s speaking out. Hollywood and the TV world has so many predatory creeps running it, with many of them in positions of power they actively abuse, because they can and because they’ve gotten away with it. Wilson Cruz was so adorable on My So-Called Life. He’s much hotter now that he’s gotten a bit older, though.

  • mattkorey

    If I had a website, like Queerty or any other, there is no way I would have a comments section.
    There is inevitably always someone like Danny595 leaving garbage on every post because he hates himself, or everybody else, or whatever issue he is struggling with.

    As to Wilson Cruz, he’s always seemed like a cool guy and great role model. Good for him for being strong and bad ass.

    • Danny595

      Wow, so judgmental. Try to accept others without being so judge-y.

    • Aries3dc

      Gurl! I come here to read the comments!! The articles are just to fill in the white space. LOL

    • jeff1370

      Danny595…….Stupid Much?

    • apexa79

      Danny595 – you’re kidding right. You’re accusing someone of being judgemental and not accepting others – when you yourself are judgmental and not accepting others. Go back and read your first comment.

    • Gaytaffuk

      Hi Margaret,

      Sadly this article was a trigger for Danielle, he hates it when Queerty gives time or space to effeminate or promiscuous gay men. I think it has a lot to do with his internalised homophobia (another trigger of his!). I totally agree with you about Wilson Cruz very handsome and a great performer!

      Jeff1370 – yes, as thick as a couple of short planks!

      Apexa79 – unfortunately not kidding, just so narrow minded that she cannot see the hypocrisy staring back at her! Very judge-y about effeminate, promiscuous gay men. Signals something very worrying about her own internalised homophobia!

    • Gaytaffuk

      Sorry Mattkorey, the above comment was addressed to you! Bloody autocorrect!!

  • DCguy

    The one thing that I am tired of however, and what allowed Harvey Winestein and others to get away with things for so long is demonstrated in the one line of this story….

    “”And while Cruz didn’t name any names, he was clear that it was “older gentlemen of a certain age who made offers.” ”

    If you aren’t naming names, you really aren’t helping.

    Hollywood is organized. Remember when the star of “The Real O’Neils” made those comments about Bryan Singer liking young twinks. SUDDENLY articles came out in gay blogs (Including this one) attacking him, and they tried to leak stories about how he was “Difficult” on the set. Hollywood has many ways of protecting their rapists and pedophiles.

    So name names Wilson.

  • Chris

    I was stunned when a sibling recently posted #MeToo. And they still won’t name names. After we talked, I understood better that naming-names feels like tearing the scab off an old wound and that it raises a host of other feelings that said individual doesn’t want to relive. So after listening to this sibling, I’ll give Cruz and anyone else who doesn’t want to name-names a pass on this one.

    But just as the first people to come out are some of the bravest heroes in the gay family; so too will be the first people to name names. When that happens, naming-names will become a lot more common than it is now. And we’ll move more decisively to bring this mess out in the open where it can be dealt with.

  • Bob LaBlah

    I can’t believe little Wilson is now a forty-four year old man. That twink pic of him made me think back to the days when he starred in My So Called Life and I just wanted to squeeze his cute little cheeks. OF COURSE I’M TALKING ABOUT THE ONES ON HIS FACE.

Add your Comment

Please log in to add your comment
Need an account? Register *It's free and easy.