Thursday, November 19, 2015

Watch Me, Watch Me

So my latest column for Women & Hollywood (which I would greatly appreciate if you clicked over and read here) is about the concept of “The Model Gay.” It was sparked by screenwriter Ron Nyswaner’s comments (which he has since apologized for, since that is how our new cycle works) about the representation of the LGBT community in our media and entertainment. At its core is the thought that – out of fear of the bottom line and/or desire to fight back against negative representations – we have de-gayed ourselves in movies and TV to be more palatable to mainstream audiences.

He makes some valid points in his argument, which can be read in full here. But I think the bigger problem is less of one where we – as LGBT creators – censor ourselves from being our most authentic selves. Though, I have no doubt that that happens. But instead one – especially right now – where were the entertainment industry fails to give us fully realized LGBT characters. All too often we are there to check an imaginary box or to fill a diversity quota instead of being there because we’re interesting characters who deserve to be there.

This is not to say our media landscape if bereft of interesting queer characters – quite the contrary. We’ve got “Orange Is the New Black,” “Orphan Black,” “The Fosters,” Transparent” and other shows are doing it right. But still others have no-impact LGBT characters or, worse yet, tired tropes (particularly when talking about the “L,” “B” and “T” in our alphabet soup of otherness). Yes, that means you “Scream Queens,” “Rosewood,” “Empire,” “Bones,” “Gotham,” “Under the Dome,” “Grandfathered,” et al.

In summation, if you write better queer characters, Hollywood, we promise we will watch them.

2 comments:

Aretha said...

Speaking of shows to watch: Master of None. It's good stuff.
And there's this: http://www.vogue.com/13371492/lena-waithe-denise-master-of-none/

Carmen SanDiego said...

We are slowly starting to evolve past the "model gay" format starting with gay men, of course. Like Cyrus in Scandal for example.
And seeing Stef and Lena made me missThe Fosters very much