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Tabloid headlines about stars' sexual orientations


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#21 hepclassic

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 12:32 PM

Those magazine covers just show me how it is still controversial to be gay and it's still taboo to suggest controversy that someone is gay and that it is owed to the public that they be out with it. 

 

Honestly, for anyone who has been in the closet, being pressured to be out can be as soul-sucking as it is to be kept in, and I don't know how famous people deal with it. Their lives are already under so much pressure. 

 

Personally, coming out is an agency issue- meaning, unless the person says that they are, giving them that respect to be the first to say is important. There is so much speculation that someone is, and so much controversy if someone believed to be is when they say they aren't. In Hollywood, any talk is good talk so long as it doesn't harm the person in any way. So, the pressing pressure of wanting to out Tom Cruise is good because people are still talking about Tom Cruise. Still, if he feels comfortable to come out, I don't want to discredit his comfort by forcing him out of the closet. 

 

As for the classic movie stars we know and love, I extend the courtesy to the privacy of their lives, as they cannot speak for themselves and if they have any living relatives who should speak for their loved one, I would still extend that courtesy because given the extreme time of heterosexism of which they lived, forcing them out of the closet just for our own modern appreciation is on par with forcing an elderly individual out of a bedroom they just got attached to just because you prefer them in a better room even though the family had strict limitations and orders to suggest otherwise. 

 

A person should know the difference between gossip and fact. Sure, gossip is fun, but it can also hurt. I never bought William Mann's theory that Katharine Hepburn was gay and Spencer Tracy was her beard or vice versa. There have been many criticisms that contest Mann's desire to sell a book to sell a book. A dead celebrity is fair game always in our world. 


"Sometimes you have to look at a person and see that he's doing the best he can." Katharine Hepburn as Ethel Thayer in 1981's "On Golden Pond."
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#22 DougieB

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 07:25 AM

But do these things still have the same impact in our internet age?  In which a rumor goes faster via twitter ?  I think it's funnier to find old magazine in which stars that now we know were gay pretended to be straight for the sake of studio publicity? And was Howar Hughes gay or bisexual or just strange?

It's probably a generational thing. I'm not sure who actually reads those things, but I suspect it's older people who grew up with magazines. Their proximity to the cash register in supermarkets must mean that they're a reliable impulse buy, though mostly I see people thumbing through them while they're waiting in line, then putting them back.

 

I get your point about phony articles on closeted stars in old magazines; it's like those old cigarette ads with "doctors" saying it's good for their throat. From a modern perspective it's more than a little ridiculous. But Princess is right that the social forces which made that necessary aren't funny at all, any more than her point about "whitewashing" ethnicity in order to work.

 

As an older person myself, it's amazing to me how quickly things lose their "newness" and fade. As a gay person, I have personal memories of the long struggle for acceptance and while I understand that the whole goal was that it should become a non-issue, it's still disheartening to see that history passed over. That having been said, I think it's important for younger people to move forward with as little shame and as light a heart as possible and I'm happy for all of you who can do so.


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#23 Princess of Tap

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:15 PM

But do these things still have the same impact in our internet age? In which a rumor goes faster via twitter ? I think it's funnier to find old magazine in which stars that now we know were gay pretended to be straight for the sake of studio publicity? And was Howar Hughes gay or bisexual or just strange?

Jaragon--

You need a little historical perspective here. It's not funny that people pretended to be straight in Hollywood - - they didn't do it because they were forced to by the studio-- they did it so that they would have a career and so that they could be in Show Business.

Also you need to remember that there were a number of actors pretending to be white people, who were actually something else - - they did that so that they would have a career as well.

Civil rights for all people in the United States is something relatively new--
Really only appearing in the latter latter part of the twentieth century.

And, by the way, you're right--Howard Hughes was just strange.
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#24 jaragon

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:49 PM

But do these things still have the same impact in our internet age?  In which a rumor goes faster via twitter ?  I think it's funnier to find old magazine in which stars that now we know were gay pretended to be straight for the sake of studio publicity? And was Howar Hughes gay or bisexual or just strange?


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#25 TopBilled

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:42 AM

The smirk factor is alive and well in some individuals and in some segments of the population. I think it involves the idea of being privy to things which the people in question "don't want us to know". You're right that there are still a lot of these headlines, involving public figures from the president on down. As your second post noted, Travolta and Cruise seem to take top honors and the tone has shifted over the years from the broader "Who's gay and who isn't" type of headline to more focused articles involving specific (and I assume paid) sources and allegations. Watching it all play out, it seems that the theme has shifted some from the shame of being gay to the hypocricy of not being honest about it, which I guess is progress of a sort. I also think gay people have had a hand in it too, since our own tendency to gossip about such things has maybe given some sense of legitimacy to the sharks in publishing who want to make a buck repackaging this stuff for a wider audience. As to whether or not it sells magazines, the biggies are still in business after all these years, so they must have a pretty good idea of what readers respond to.

Great post. Though I think there is still a shock factor-- people pick up the latest copy because they are shocked to read that little Joanie Cunningham from Happy Days (Erin Moran) got drunk and kissed a woman in a bowling alley with her husband and friends looking on. So she must be a lesbian, and it must be reported. 

 

Cruise has sued tabloids in Britain and America for publishing these reports. Others can't sue because these things are printed after they're deceased. 


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#26 DougieB

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 07:21 AM

I was reading a TV message board on another site, and someone posted an article from the National Enquirer about a sitcom actress supposedly being a lesbian (though she's been married to the same man for over 20 years). 

 

It occurred to me there are lots of these types of headlines, whether they are actually true or not. 

 

Do these kinds of headlines really sell magazines..?

The smirk factor is alive and well in some individuals and in some segments of the population. I think it involves the idea of being privy to things which the people in question "don't want us to know". You're right that there are still a lot of these headlines, involving public figures from the president on down. As your second post noted, Travolta and Cruise seem to take top honors and the tone has shifted over the years from the broader "Who's gay and who isn't" type of headline to more focused articles involving specific (and I assume paid) sources and allegations. Watching it all play out, it seems that the theme has shifted some from the shame of being gay to the hypocricy of not being honest about it, which I guess is progress of a sort. I also think gay people have had a hand in it too, since our own tendency to gossip about such things has maybe given some sense of legitimacy to the sharks in publishing who want to make a buck repackaging this stuff for a wider audience. As to whether or not it sells magazines, the biggies are still in business after all these years, so they must have a pretty good idea of what readers respond to.


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#27 Princess of Tap

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:27 AM


Howard Hughes put his boyfriend, Jack Buetel, into the leading male role in "The Outlaw" - and, thereafter, kept him under lock and key - forcing him to eat a diet that would enrich his "fluids" - and refusing to loan him out to Howard Hawks for "Red River".

That reminds me of how Howard Hughes ruined Jane Greer's film career because she wouldn't marry him and worse than that she subsequently married another man.

People who have seen her in Out of the Past with Robert Mitchum can't figure out why she wasn't a great movie star.

Well, Howard Hughes owned her contract and he saw to it that she was off the screen for several years after Out of the Past.

Previously Hughes had quite a reputation with the ladies. The two that I can recall--who we're close to actually marrying him as well were- - Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers.

From 1957 to 1971 Hughes was married to the largely forgotten actress Jean Peters.
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#28 Princess of Tap

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 12:02 AM

Ray-- I don't want to be a broken record-- but by all indications-- Katharine Hepburn did what she pleased in every situation and in some of those situations there are certainly a number of men involved.

I know the book you're talking about; I've got it on audio play--

But in terms of this woman, I think we'd have to look at not just audio play but her whole life. However, I guess you could say that some bisexuals are indeed, closeted.
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#29 rayban

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 10:39 PM

Hollywood is probably the gayest place in the world - but, of course, Hollywood would never admit it.

 

When Lee Garlington, who became Rock Hudson's lover, went to Hollywood to break into "the business", he said that he couldn't wait to get there, because he knew that it was oh-so-gay.

 

Henry Willson, Rock Hudson's agent, was famous for his stable of "gay actors".

 

When Natalie Wood became interested in Robert Wagner, her mother warned her that Robert Wagner was a client of Henry Willson's.

 

Howard Hughes put his boyfriend, Jack Buetel,  into the leading male role in "The Outlaw" - and, thereafter, kept him under lock and key - forcing him to eat a diet that would enrich his "fluids" - and refusing to loan him out to Howard Hawks for "Red River".

 

Katherine Hepburn, who tried to lead a closeted life - sort of - paid a well-known procurer to set her up secretly with a long succession of young women.

 

Anthony Perkins had a long love affair with Grover Dale, and, even when they both decided to go "straight", Anthony Perkins had allowed Grove Dale and his wife to live in Anthony Perkins' New York brownstone.

 

Alexis Smith and her "husband", Craig Stevens were both gay - they had simply decided to get "married" to make life easier.

 

This list could go on and on. 

 

And, of course, it could have made headlines in the tabloids - but it never, ever, did.


"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#30 TopBilled

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 09:09 PM

How about:

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-05-11%2Bat%2B8.07.5

 

And:

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-05-11%2Bat%2B8.08.0


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#31 TopBilled

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 03:31 PM

I was reading a TV message board on another site, and someone posted an article from the National Enquirer about a sitcom actress supposedly being a lesbian (though she's been married to the same man for over 20 years). 

 

It occurred to me there are lots of these types of headlines, whether they are actually true or not. 

 

Do these kinds of headlines really sell magazines..?


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).





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