It's probably better to avoid getting involved in this, as I am very ambivalent
but here it goes . . .
I agree that a forum such as screen-l is probably not the place for "outing."
Moreover, as a straight person, I feel _I_ would have no business outing
However, I do buy the argument made by some gays, lesbians, and bis that
there is an important ethical difference between outing someone who simply
wants to remain private and outing someone who actively works against the
interests of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals (the classic case of this is Roy
If the discussion on screen-l was about what I think it was about, a recent
film starring the actor in question has been under much fire precisely for
its extremely negative portrayal of a gay man. One might argue that this puts
the actor in question (even tho' in a different role in the movie) under the
Roy Cohn category, particularly as the actor in question has tried to present
the movie in the opposite light (i.e. has gotten involved in this debate).
Finally, while the "outing question" is important to resolve, I'm not sure it
has much to do with this case. I thought that the actor in question was more
or less "out" already. If so, the movie, the accusations against it, and the
actor's (implicit) response to those accusations, would, I think, provide
very interesting ground for a screen-l discussion on the relationship between
negative portrayals of a member of a group, negative images of that group
in general, and actors who belong to that group involving themselves in such
an effort (actually, this problem has effected african-american actors for
Sorry for all the coded language above.
--Ben Alpers (blalpers@pucc)
Princeton University (for whom I do not speak, and who does not speak for me)