When Colton Haynes came out as gay, he mentioned the pressure he’d felt from agents and others who said that if he wanted a career, he’d have to stay in the closet. In the last few days he’s taken to Twitter to express his anger at one of the reasons so many young actors are told to pretend they’re straight – because if you’re out, in casting many people won’t be able to see beyond your sexuality. And as a result, it can unfairly limit the roles you’ll get.
It’s not the way it ought to be, but unfortunately depite its liberal reputation Hollywood can still be an unexpectedly conservative place, with a real problem with bias – in terms of everything from race to gender to sexuality – that it rarely faces head-on.
Haynes says, ‘Hollywood is so fucked up. So much of the focus is on your personal life & has nothing to do with the talent you have to bring to the table… Thank god for Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, & Jeff Davis. They believe gay actors are more than just their personal lives… So disappointed in how Hollywood cant understand that playing a character has nothing to do with how u live your personal life’.
Davis (Teen Wolf), Berlanti (Arrow) and Murphy (American Horror Story) have given Haynes three of his most prominent roles. However, as his tweets suggest, there are plenty of others who’ve turned him away because he’s gay in real life, or because now he’s out, they won’t consider him for a straight role. However, he has enough discretion not to name anyone in particular.