Kate Winslet slams homophobic culture in Hollywood

Kate Winslet has called out the prevalence of homophobia in the TV and film industry

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Kate Winslet attends the EE British Academy Film Awards at The Royal Opera House on February 14, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
(Image credit: John Phillips/Getty Images)

Kate Winslet has called out the pervasive homophobia in Hollywood, urging the industry to tackle the stigma against casting gay actors. 

In a recent interview with the Sunday Times, the Oscar-award winner condemned the discrimination against openly LGBTQ+ performers in television and film. 

"I cannot tell you the number of young actors I know – some well known, some starting out – who are terrified their sexuality will be revealed and that it will stand in the way of their being cast in straight roles," she said. "Now that's f**ked up." 

The Ammonite star went on to reveal she personally knows people who have been advised to conceal their sexuality from the public. "A well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, 'I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn't publicize that.' I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality. It's painful. Because they fear being found out," she explained. "And that's what they say. 'I don't want to be found out.'"

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While women too can be subject to homophobia in the industry, the prejudice seems to be particularly targeted at male actors. 

"Hollywood has to drop that dated crap of, 'Can he play straight because, apparently, he's gay?'" Kate added. "That should be almost illegal." 

Kate's stance on the matter has likely been bolstered by her recent portrayal of a gay character in the romantic drama, Ammonite. 

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The British actor plays Mary Anning, a paleontologist who begins a secret relationship with another woman. The historical film, which also stars Saoirse Ronan, gave Kate the chance to finally share her true thoughts on Hollywood's alleged homophobia. 

"I'm done with not being honest about what my real opinions are," she said. "In taking this part I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms."

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.