Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in character as Liberace and Scott Thorson for Vanity Fair.
Hollywood “doesn’t know what to do” with the gays. Studios rejected the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson. Hollywood rejected the script, but it was quickly picked up by HBO. Director Steven Soderbergh explains:
Nobody would make it. We went to everybody in town. They all said it was too gay. And this is after Brokeback Mountain, by the way, which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned: It made no sense to any of us. This movie is a magnet for attention. The whole package . . . looked [to HBO] like a slam dunk, [but] the studios didn’t know how to sell it. They were scared.
I don’t know why Hollywood is run by a bunch of pussies, but it is. Brokeback Mountain and Milk, both with entirely straight casts, are how gay cinema is identified, represented and summed up by Hollywood. They’re filtering homosexuality by trying to make it safe for mainstream audiences and by doing so, wrongly imply there’s something dangerous or illicit about gay storytelling.
Our stories, of which we have many, are not just for us. If gay audiences can identify with straight characters and straight films, then straight audiences can identify with gay characters and films, too. The industry’s fear is insulting to people’s ability to feel.
So fuck Hollywood! I still haven’t forgiven them for ruining Rock.