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Hollywood Duke: Luke Evans is Out - Then In

Alternate TextThe story of Luke Evans, who stars as Aramis in the just-released The Three Musketeers, as Zeus in the upcoming Immortals, and who is now filming The Hobbit, is a perfect example of the oppressive influence that Hollywood has over its actors.


In 2002, as a young theater actor in the UK, Evans talked frankly about the fact that he was gay and stated in an interview that his honesty, at the onset of his career, meant that he wouldn't, one day, have "that skeleton in the closet they can rattle out." In 2004 he went so far as to talk about his gay porn collection. Evans was not only open about his sexuality, but unapologetically so.


Then something changed. In April 2010, he made his first big foray into film playing the Greek god Apollo in the blockbuster movie Clash of the Titans. He was thrust into the spotlight, and this meant more attention being focused on his personal life. The website WalesOnline.co.uk did an article in which they linked Evans to a PR executive named Holly Goodchild; "Luke's lovely - we're really old friends and it just sort of happened," she was quoted as saying. She then added: "We are nowhere near engaged but things are really good."


In August 2011, this strange discrepancy was picked up on by AfterElton.com, which attempted to contact Evans and/or his team for clarification. During this time, Evans' Wikipedia page was changed from simply saying that he was "openly gay" to saying that he "rarely speaks about his personal life," and that "he has made it clear in the past that press and private life are very separate and should never be mixed."


His publicist later released the statement: "I do not comment on my client's personal lives in the media. As for Luke, he did so once, a long time ago when he was an inexperienced, young actor and now with maturity and hindsight, he has learned not to engage the press in his personal life again."


What makes the publicist's statement particularly disturbing is that it basically says that Luke, and any other actor who has the courage and conviction to come out, are naive and immature. Not only is that incorrect, it is wrong. Evans is clearly a victim of the status quo in this industry that dictates that unless you follow the rules and fit into the box they want to put you in, you have no chance of making it as a leading man.


A friend of mine, who also happens to be friends with Mr. Evans, told me that Luke wishes he could be out, but he has been forced back in the closet by the studio executives who essentially gave him an ultimatum: it's the closet or bust.


In the last few months there have not been any further comments from Evans or his team, nor has any of the mainstream media asked any questions during the publicity tours that Evans has been on for The Three Musketeers and Immortals.


All has been silent, except for a change to his Wikipedia page which now states that Evans "openly identified as gay" in his "early career" but he recently was "romantically linked with a woman." The fact that this duplicity has been able to go on without any real accountability or opposition baffles me.


I have never outed anyone; in fact, I am strongly against the idea of outing. But I do think, as Michael Jensen of AfterElton.com put it, that there's "nothing wrong with asking the question," particularly when we're talking about an actor who has already in the past been open about his sexuality but is now backtracking with no explanation.


It's less about Mr. Evans himself than it is the stranglehold that the power players in Hollywood have on their performers. It may be unpopular to discuss, but the truth needs to be told, and the more that happens, and the bigger the dialogue becomes, the sooner this injustice will stop.

 

ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

How to Come Out of the Closet 

Zachary Quinto Needs Our Help

Wilson Cruz: Devoted to Helping Gay Teens

Out and Proud: Velez-Mitchell Makes Headlines

Glee's Bad Girl Goes Gay

Daniel Radcliffe Talks Gay Marriage 

Hollywood Duke: The Celluloid Closet

GOP hopefuls tackle LGBT rights 

 

Written By:
James Mason
James Mason
Mon, Oct 24, 2011
Comments
about 3 years ago

These are the very reasons that so many talented people are overlooked. Hollywood just needs to realize that what happens on camera is not real they are storys they are make believe. To expect that the persons performing on camera are doing just that acting. The audiences need to do the same. Give the actors and actresses recognition for their skill to tell the story, there is where their fame lies, not withwhom they lie with. It really makes me wonder what really was behind the marriages and divorces that dot Tinsel Towns tabloids. At the movies I look for believable story, top acting and realistic camera work. Beyond that who cares.

about 3 years ago

It angers me that bully boy tactics are being used here. If Luke Evans is gay, then he's gay. He shouldn't have to deny himself simply because some homophobic film executive can't handle that fact......

Comment by Scott Gould
about 3 years ago

The issue here is this. If people were writing articles about a studio that was telling light skinned black actors to put on make-up and say they were white or they wouldn't be cast...the state would be investigating them immediately. The fact is, he has done work for a few studios, we know which ones because they are the producers of his movies. It is obvious who the bigots are. Complaints need to be filed against those studios. They may deny it, but it might wake them up that things cannot continue like this. As for this actor. Funny, he GOT the roles when he was openly out. That should tell him something.

Comment by Scott Gould
about 3 years ago

The issue here is this. If people were writing articles about a studio that was telling light skinned black actors to put on make-up and say they were white or they wouldn't be cast...the state would be investigating them immediately. The fact is, he has done work for a few studios, we know which ones because they are the producers of his movies. It is obvious who the bigots are. Complaints need to be filed against those studios. They may deny it, but it might wake them up that things cannot continue like this. As for this actor. Funny, he GOT the roles when he was openly out. That should tell him something.

Comment by Scott Gould
about 3 years ago

The issue here is this. If people were writing articles about a studio that was telling light skinned black actors to put on make-up and say they were white or they wouldn't be cast...the state would be investigating them immediately. The fact is, he has done work for a few studios, we know which ones because they are the producers of his movies. It is obvious who the bigots are. Complaints need to be filed against those studios. They may deny it, but it might wake them up that things cannot continue like this. As for this actor. Funny, he GOT the roles when he was openly out. That should tell him something.

Comment by Scott Gould
about 3 years ago

Not sure why that comment appeared three times. Sorry about that!

Comment by Gene Bivins
about 3 years ago

I wonder how his studio executives would feel about a boycott of their films in light of this abhorrent policy?

Comment by Andy Pedder
about 3 years ago

I stopped going to 'Hollywood Blockbuster" movies back in 2000. I refuse to support a business that FORCES actors to live a lie!! FOR CHRIST SAKE IT's 2011 IS IT NOT!!! HOW PATHETIC!! this HOMOPHOBIC view needs to be challenged!! What must this be doing to Luke's and othere gay actors mental health! I just can not believe this is allowed to happen!!!!

Comment by Scott Lansing
about 3 years ago

To begin with, Evans needs a new publicist; one that works for him--not Hollywood. While I agree there is pressure in Hollywood to keep gay leading men in the closet, the initial actions one takes when faced with a proverbial fork in the road are that person's choice. For how difficult it can be to come out of the closet, I'm sure it's much harder to be forced back in. Regardless, I refuse to believe Evans didn't have the option to remain out and openly gay--he just may have had to sacrifice his acting career as a result. When it comes down to career v. integrity, it's hard to choose considering you can't break the stigma around gay leading men in "straight" Hollywood if you choose to leave Hollywood. Perhaps Evans didn't know what was being published about him; that it was a publicity stunt his publicist just up and ran with without Evans' consent. Bottom line: Hollywood does need to change, as do many of the viewers of mainstream movies and television.

Comment by John Richette
about 3 years ago

It is regrettable Luke Rvans has made the choice to deny his truth. How many lives of gay and lebian youth will be impacted by the denial of his sexuality. Hollywood hasn't changed much since the 1950's. It's tragic.

Comment by Mark Olmsted
about 3 years ago

I just find it positively comic that his P.R. people could spin it so ridiculously. "In his early career, he identified as gay?" Like a straight actor, in a million years, would ever accidentally identify himself as gay out of some sort of momentary uncertainty. The genie is out of the bottle, people. If the studio would rather he not assume the role of activist, out actor--fine. One has to assume it's not complete paranoia, perhaps it does make him harder to market as a leading man if the target audience of young women feel their fantasy balloons are popped. We all understand how discretion can be a smart career choice--ask anybody who's made it on Wall Street. But that's rather different that trying to supplant the public record with a completely implausible narrative of suddenly discovered heterosexuality. That's just plain silly.

Comment by Bryce Cox
about 3 years ago

I do'nt understand his relucteness to stand out since he obviously has many fellows to show him that we all need their honesty and continued acpectencess that his collegues have shown and been given respect even though they are "out" individuals. Please tell me which movies to see because of their fairness and which ones to avoid because of the individuals involved keep being baggered into not coming out! Maybe that will scare the pants and skirts off these abhornit mean people! Thank you.

Comment by Jeremi Glasper
almost 3 years ago

I find it horrible that they've forced such an obviously skilled actor to hide part of himself. What I find incredibly ironic is that they want to force him into the closet, yet he's cast as Apollo in Immortals. What many don't know is that Apollo (and Zeus, Poseidon, Hermes, and Dionysus) had male lovers. We even have the name of the Hyacinth flower from the tragedy of Apollo's lover Hyacinthus.

Comment by godot515
almost 3 years ago

This all sounds like blackmail to me. We have a very talented actor who happens to be gay, had no problem with it before the homophobic industry he has worked so diligently to make a mark in pulls the rug out and blasts him with loss of income if he comes out. Maybe the frightened queens in GB don't want to have the Rupert Everett curse fall upon their new "piece of meat", but perhaps Rupert Everett had a personality conflict with the world. Good for Zachary Quinto (if there was any question, AMERICAN HORROR STORY certainly allowed him to come out with a vengeance) and other actors who don't need to hide or feel shame. Maybe Mr. Evans should take a good look at himself and know that there is NOTHING WRONG OR UGLY OR DANGEROUS about him. He's gay....bfd. Go act, choose smarter people to help you run your career, and don't fall into the trap...there are MANY behind you offering support and appreciating your talents. The other gifts..... well, aren't you lucky!!!!

Comment by godot515
almost 3 years ago

Hey, this is an update, but today, Sunday 11/6 there was a cover article in the Sunday LA Times magazine about Luke Evans and they quoted him re: his sexuality, from the Advocate interview a few years ago before he hit the screen and was mainly doing theatre: "IT WAS SOMETHING I'D SPOKEN TO A LOT OF PEOPLE ABOUT, INCLUDING MY BOYRIEND AT THE TIME ...WE'VE BROKEN UP NO...BUT WHEN I'D JUST GOT TABOO, I KNEW THAT EVEN THOUGH MY PART WS A STRAIGHT CHARACTER, EVERYBODY KNEW ME AS A GAY MAN, AND IN MY LIFE IN LONDON, I NEVER TRIED TO HIDE IT." and then just recently: MY PERSONAL LIFE IS MY PERSONAL LIFE AND I AM VERY HAPPY LIVING MY LIFE AS I AM. PEOPLE SPECULATE BUT I AM NOT ENTERTAINING ANY OF THAT. I'M HAPPY IN MY PERSONAL LIFE, AND THAT'S IT." Well, I'm not sure what that means, but isn't there something about unspilling milk and figuring if one doesn't say anything people will forget what you said in the first place. I feel sorry for Luke Evans, and James Mason, I wish you could talk to him and give him some support. He may have 3 or 4 big films coming out soon, but he ALREADY came out and trying to hide it now just weakens him as a person who has any self esteem. And yes, damn it, it IS the managers and agents, etc., who are running scared.

Comment by James Benson
almost 3 years ago

Don't actors/publicists/studio execs, etc. know that the "my personal life" line just convinces everyone that the person has something to hide, and that must be their sexual orientation?? What straight actor, when asked about their sexual orientation doesn't come right out and say that they are not? (And the REALLY afraid closet cases.) They don't feel the need to do linguistic gymnastics around the issue. It just sends the message that being GLBT is wrong or something to be ashamed of, and our teens are listening. When they hear someone they admire dance around the question, they sense the shame behind it, and many of them are internalizing that shame. That, along with bullying and the normal pressures of life, leaves no mystery regarding the increase in GLBT teen suicides and suicides attempts. Everyone who is behind the "inning" of Luke Evans and other people in the spotlight should be ashamed of themselves.

Comment by davisbrowne
almost 3 years ago

As long as this remains about Hollywood and the influence exerted by studio bosses, and doesn't become about Luke Evans and his personal choices... His choices are his and I am sure he will live with them. Hopefully, live just fine, with whoever he wants to, once he has taken some money off the stupid Hollywood morons who seek to silence him at the moment. Many people have had to move somewhere we didn't want to live for a job. People make sacrifices. Luke Evans didn't make this thing happen... he is just living through it. But the US government should really look at the disregard the Hollywood moneybags are showing for the progress of the nation. They are marching to the beat of their own tune... and the tune is 'don't ask don't tell' which the government did away with years ago. Workplace codes that apply across the board, freedom from persecution, do not these apply to Hollywood. I agree with those, like James Benson, who point out the ongoing toll on GLBTQ teens who are learning just how bad it is to be GLBTQ. Oh sure Hollywood, you are a business - and don't have to cowtow to the government on every issue... but you reap private profits protecting images that aren't true, and let the government spend theirs funding programmes to counteract the effects of your work. The type of deal that must have been offered, negotiated and signed here should be made illegal. Actors, like employees in all industries should be completely protected in their right to be of any race, religion, sexual orientation etc.

Comment by Stanley Brown
almost 3 years ago

Hollywood going backwards lie the 2010 elections w/ republicans winning. But now more average people ,many of whom misunderstood Obama and his agenda ,are now finally seeing the light. Hollywood is playing this male dominated gayphobia game. Money will talk. and the town would shut down w/o the gay family.

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