While LGBT actors still have to face various issues in Hollywood, not least due to many executives (some of whom are gay themselves) still feeling it’s ‘easier’ to cast a straight or closeted person in case having a gay actors affects the project’s money-making potential in some parts of the world.
However, it doesn’t seem that’s as much of an issue for those behind the camera, with directors such as Bryan Singer and Roland Emmerich being handed massive projects with no one really caring about their sexuality (although it did become a bit of an issue for Singer last year).
2012 and The Day After Tomorrow director Roland Emmerich has been talking about how easy it’s been for him, telling The Guardian at the Toronto International Film Festival, “For me, being gay in Hollywood was easy. I never made a big deal out of it. I was just openly gay. It happened late because I never wanted to have the words ‘gay director’ in front of my name. I wanted to make such different films. It’s not befitting but now I can be openly gay and still make these films.”
He’s also promised that he’s included gay characters in his upcoming Independence Day seuqel, Resurgence, something that’s still incredibly rare in mega-budget movies.
Emmerich was in Toronto for the premiere of Stonewall, his movie about the 1969 riots in New York that are seen as the beginning of the modern gay rights movements. There’s been plenty of controvery over the film, with many accusing it – based solely on the trailer – of white-washing and erasing trans people, as it focuses on a white, cisgender gay man (played by Jeremy Irvine), but it’s only in Toronto that the first people have been able to see the full movie and judge whether the accusations are justified.
The director doesn’t seem too bothered about the controversy though, calling it “strange” and saying, “A friend of mine was executive for Tristar at the time of Philadelphia. They got so much shit from the gay audience and when this whole controversy over my trailer started, he actually just sent me a couple of quotes people had said about Philadelphia just to make me feel that there’s a precedent for this.”