Portrayal of gays in Hollywood films is ‘sad’, says screenwriter

Hollywood screenwriter Abdi Nazemian has criticized Hollywood films like Dallas Buyers Club and Philadelphia for their depictions of gay men who are saved by straight, homophobic characters  

Portrayal of gays in Hollywood films is ‘sad’, says screenwriter
01 June 2014

A US screenwriter has criticzed Hollywood depcitions of gay men, branding them ‘a very sad depiction of gay culture.’

Hollywood screenwriter and author Abdi Nazemian, who has worked on films The Quiet and Revolution, spoke about the negative depictions of gay men in the majority of Hollywood films with HuffPost Live.

Nazemian, who is gay, spoke about feature films with gay storylines but had straight lead protagonists like Dallas Buyers Club and Philadelphia.

‘Personally I think the depiction of gay men in Hollywood is horrible,’ he said.

‘There’s this idea of a straight saviour. In both cases the lead character is not only a straight man but a homophobic straight man that saves the day and saves gay men.’

‘It’s such a common narrative. There are two things that really bother me about it, the first is that when the AIDS crisis first started gay men really didn’t get much help from the straight community, and so they had to mobilize themselves and that is not honoured by those films.

‘Second is that the characters are not just straight they’re homophobic and so there’s an assumption on the part of the filmmakers that viewers need a homophobic character as a point of entry and I don’t think that’s true anymore.

‘And of course there are other narratives — I mean, now HBO made ‘The Normal Heart,’ which is a great counter-narrative to those. So there is great stuff being done, but when you look at it on a whole, especially in feature films, I think it’s a very sad depiction of gay culture.’

Nazemian initially broached this subject in an article he wrote last year for the Hollywood Journal, where he criticized Hollywood films for attributing straight men as the saviours of the gay community.

‘The truth is that the gay community mobilized in an unprecedented way in response to the AIDS epidemic. They did not wait for a homophobic cowboy or a homophobic attorney to save them. They saved themselves,’ he wrote.

Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his performance in Philadelphia, as did Jared Leto for his portrayal of a transgender AIDS victim in Dallas Buyers Club.



No thumbnail available

Man sets himself on fire to protest wife's lesbian affair

Fifty-year-old man in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia set himself on fire after allegedly finding out his wife was having an affair with her female boss
No thumbnail available

Colorado baker did not discriminate against Christian customer

William Jack wanted a Bible shaped cake that said 'Homosexuality is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18:2'
No thumbnail available

Europride in Riga will send 'strong signal' to anti-gay neighbors

Latvian capital wins bid to host Europride in 2015, coinciding with country's EU Presidency
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Three anti-gay ‘Muslim Patrol’ London thugs jailed

Trio of vigilantes, part of a group that were condemned by LGBTI groups and Muslim community, will be in prison from 24 weeks to 17 months
No thumbnail available

Ex Australia's PM Kevin Rudd goes from 'dinosaur' to backing gay marriage

In an unforeseen shift of opinion, Australian MP Kevin Rudd has thrown his full support behind changing federal legislation on same sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Filipina trans wins Miss International Queen beauty pageant

Kevin Balot, 21, says he hopes winning the transgender contest will make her dad finally accept her
No thumbnail available

Ten more senators needed to pass same-sex marriage, Aussie gay marriage group say

Gay marriage advocates urge Australians to contact undecided senators
No thumbnail available

Gay icon Bette Midler to play Mae West in new film written by Harvey Fierstein

Movie starring The Divine Miss M will be based on West's book Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It
No thumbnail available

Despite losing his NFL job, Chris Kluwe says he has no regrets about his LGBT activism

'I love playing football but at the end of the day, it is a children's game that grown men play'