Sir Ian McKellen revealed what will likely be received as a divisive view for many, telling Sky News earlier today that, like African American and female actors, gay people are ignored by the Academy.
“It’s not only black people who’ve been disregarded by the film industry,” he says. “It used to be women. It’s certainly gay people to this day.”
Stars left and right have been weighing on the lack of African American representation at this year’s Oscars, bolstering the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to trending status on social media.
English actress/model Charlotte Rampling (above with McKellen) came under intense scrutiny after her controversial claim that the uproar over the lack of black Oscar nominees was “racist to white people.”
French-American actress Julie Delpy found herself apologizing after saying she sometimes wished she were African American “because people don’t bash them afterward,” during an interview at Sundance.
McKellen’s remark that Hollywood’s disregard “used to be women” is particularly strange phrasing coming off of the continued discussion surrounding the wage gap amongst men and women in Hollywood.
Earlier this month, X-Files Star Gillian Anderson (above) revealed that she was offered “half of what they want to offer David [Duchovany]” in order to return to the series.
But what about gay representation? Does McKellen have a point?
While it’s true no openly gay actor has won the coveted Best Actor/Best Actress, the Academy Awards have hardly shut-out gay people altogether. Jodie Foster, John Gielgud, Dustin Lance Black, Alan Ball and Elton John are just a few LGBT folks who have won Oscar gold throughout the years.
Furthemore, two of our communities highest profile celebrities, Ellen Degeneres and Neil Patrick Harris have both hosted the ceremony.
Could representation of gay actors be bolstered? Absolutely. Without a doubt. DUH! But are we, as McKellen suggests, disregarded entirely? The receipts prove otherwise.
Where do you come down on the matter?