Colton Haynes may be an openly gay man with a thriving TV career, but that doesn't mean there aren't challenges that come with being out in Hollywood.
On Tuesday, the Teen Wolf star took to Twitter to express his disappointment in how gay actors are treated in the entertainment industry, stating that, often, people in positions of power just can't see beyond a gay person's sexual orientation when they go out for roles.
The actor, who is set to appear on American Horror Story: Cult as new character Detective Samuels, wrote:
"Hollywood is so fucked up. So much of the focus is on your personal life & has nothing to do with the talent you have to bring to the table."
"So disappointed in how Hollywood cant understand that playing a character has nothing to do with how u live your personal life"
Haynes did call out several showrunners — including Arrow's Greg Berlanti and American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy — for bucking that particular trend.
"Thank god for Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, & Jeff Davis. They believe gay actors are more than just their personal lives."
It's unclear if Haynes was sparked to share his feelings based on a particular situation, but it's hardly the first time that an actor has claimed being open about one's sexuality could hurt their prospects in the industry. Zachary Quinto told the December 2015 issue of Attitude Magazine that closeted actors have come to him for advice about being an out man in Hollywood, and that he admitted to them that it might hinder their career in one way or another:
"I tell [closeted actors who come to me for advice], 'Trust that even if it means you’re not as famous, or even if it means it’s not exactly what you thought it would be, it’s still more valuable when you’re assessing your life at the end of that.'"
In February of 2010, Colin Firth admitted to The Telegraph that there are "politics" barring gay men from playing straight roles:
"There might be risks for a gay actor coming out," Firth told the outlet. "The politics of that are quite complex, it seems to me...If you're known as a straight guy, playing a gay role, you get rewarded for that. If you're a gay man and you want to play a straight role, you don't get cast – and if a gay man wants to play a gay role now, you don't get cast."
When we talk about diversity within the industry, it's important we include LGBTQ diversity as well. As Haynes says, Hollywood still has a long way to go when it comes to casting gay actors.