Celebrity Politicking

During an interview at the Variety Studio in Cannes Lions, the actor Ian McKellen had harsh words for President Donald Trump if he fails to follow through — as seems to be the case — on a campaign promise to protect the rights of the LGBT community.

Asked about the administration’s attempts to roll back gay and transgender protections, McKellen said, “If what you’re saying is true, it’s appalling and quite unnecessary and very un-American. The gay rights movement began in America. It began in San Francisco, it began in Stonewall, the city where Donald Trump was born and thrived.”

The White House has refused to acknowledge June as Pride Month. In March, Trump quietly rolled back an Obama-era rule, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. Many argue that the move leaves female and LGBT employees of federal contractors venerable to discrimination.

McKellen, the most recent openly gay actor to be nominated for an Oscar, admitted he’s not sure what Trump believes. “I can’t follow Mr. Trump,” McKellen said. “I don’t always understand what he says and when I do, I have to admit later that I got it wrong because he changed his mind or changed his mind about what he said. He’s a very bad communicator, at least to me. Get more straightforward, Donald. And then we can take you seriously.”

McKellen arrived at the annual advertising conference in the South of France with an initiative, co-sponsored by the European branding company the Brooklyn Brothers and TV production house Brown Eyed Boy, to solicit short films that re-imagine iconic characters as gay (winners will be broadcast on Facebook).

The actor known for playing Magneto in the “X-Men” franchise spoke about the lack of gay characters in major Hollywood tentpoles. “I wouldn’t say the films coming out of the mainstream are quite as related to what’s going on in the real world as I would like them to be,” McKellen told Variety. “One indication of that is LGBT people don’t really get quite a big enough say. If you’re one of those initials yourself, you do notice that actually these movies are not about me at all.”

Hollywood has yet to greenlight a comic-book movie anchored by a gay superhero. “Frankly looking at the images of some of these superheroes it’s a surprise to me they aren’t gay,” joked McKellen.

He expressed disappointment that his costume for Magneto isn’t quite as flamboyant as it was in the comics. “I wasn’t allowed to wear that outfit,” McKellen said. “I don’t look like Magneto in the comics — always shot from the crotch level.”

McKellen had a suggestion for rebooting the James Bond franchise with a gay 007. “I do have an idea,” McKellen said. “I think Ian Fleming, who wrote the original books, knew all about [it]. I’m not sure subsequent actors have quite understood the joke, which is the same as Superman. James Bond is a wimp! He’s a silly Englishman that wants his martinis stirred. He changes his underwear, like Superman, and he can save the world. They all play it the same — he’s heroic all the way through. No, he’s not.”

“If you play James Bond as an outwardly camp, silly gay man that no one took seriously and then he turned out as many gay men are underneath their clothes — buff and strong and as hetero as any hetero — we might have a more truthful story than the one that has been told,” McKellen said.

Would he want to play this new Bond? “I’m not volunteering,” he said. “I’m insisting. No, I’m too old to play it. I can be on the periphery of this new version.”

With all the recent talk of diversity at the Oscars, one statistic still goes unnoticed. There hasn’t been an openly gay actor nominated for an Oscar in 15 years — since McKellen was recognized for his work in “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” as the wizard Gandalf.

“It’s hard isn’t it?” McKellen said. “It’s probably because there are few remaining very talented actors who aren’t quite out of the closet in the way one would like for them to be for their own health and good. I don’t think there’s anything sinister about it. I was only the second openly gay man to receive a knighthood. Records are being broken day by day.”

Related slideshow: Stars who have come out (via Photo Services) 

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>Full screen 1/34 SLIDES © Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Ellen DeGeneres

The popular daytime talk-show host and comedian came out in a big way in April 1997, with the cover of Time magazine reading “Yep, I’m Gay.” Speaking about it, she said, “I never wanted to be 'the lesbian actress.' I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth.”

2/34 SLIDES © Neil H Kitson/Getty Images

Barry Manilow

The singer-songwriter revealed he was gay in April 2017 to People magazine. He stated, “I’m so private. I always have been. I thought I would be disappointing them [his fans] if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything.”

3/34 SLIDES © Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Neil Patrick Harris

The “How I Met Your Mother” actor came out in November 2006. In an exclusive interview to People magazine, he said, “I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.”

4/34 SLIDES © Walter McBride/WireImage/Getty Images

Rosie O’Donnell

The comedian, actress and TV personality acknowledged being gay in February 2002, during an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit. She stated, “I don’t know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing... People are confused, they’re shocked like this is a big revelation to somebody.”

5/34 SLIDES © Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Jodie Foster

“The Silence of the Lambs” actress subtly declared her same-sex relationship in 2007, when she thanked her then-partner Cydney Bernard during a Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment breakfast. However, her speech after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards in 2013 was considered her revelation. She stated, “So while I’m here being all confessional, I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public… I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met.”

6/34 SLIDES © Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Ian McKellen

The English actor revealed he was gay publicly in 1988, during a program on BBC Radio 3 when he challenged the controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Bill. Also during a 1998 interview about the Stonewall riots, McKellen stated, “I have many regrets about not having come out earlier, but one of them might be that I didn't engage myself in the politicking.”

7/34 SLIDES © Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Ricky Martin

The Latin pop singer posted about his orientation on his official website in March 2010. He stated, “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am. These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within, and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed.”

8/34 SLIDES © Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Elton John

While John said he was bisexual in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone, he revealed that he was “comfortable” being gay in another interview with the magazine in 1988. The singer stated, “[Coming out] gave me the freedom to be who I was for the rest of my life. I don't have to hide around corners. The worse thing is to be afraid of who you are – it's horrible.”

9/34 SLIDES © David M. Benett/Wireimage/Getty Images

Portia de Rossi

The “Ally McBeal” actress publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation in 2005 in interviews with “Details” and “The Advocate” magazines. In a 2013 interview, de Rossi said, “Ellen [DeGeneres] and I had been together for a month, and I was very, very nervous going to that [Golden Globe Awards] because I knew that I was going to meet up with her after the show and that there was press. That was the first time that we actually stepped out together as a couple, but for me, it was the first time that I’d stepped out as a gay woman, really.”

10/34 SLIDES © Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Busboys and Poets

Ellen Page

The “Juno” actress came out on Valentine’s Day in 2014, at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to Thrive conference. In an inspiring speech, she revealed, “I’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.” Page added, “I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I'm standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.”

11/34 SLIDES © Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Matt Bomer

In 2012, the “White Collar” actor publicly thanked his partner Simon Halls and their three children while accepting the Steve Chase Humanitarian Award. Bomer stated, “I’d really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry. Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment.”

12/34 SLIDES © Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for EJAF

Adam Lambert

The singer, who was a runner-up on “American Idol” Season 8, confirmed that he was gay in an interview with Rolling Stone in June 2009. He said, “I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear I’m gay… I’m proud of my sexuality.”

13/34 SLIDES © Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

George Takei

The “Star Trek” actor came out in October 2005 during an interview with Frontiers magazine. He revealed, “It’s not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It’s more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen.”

14/34 SLIDES © Phillip Chin/Getty Images

Victor Garber

The Canadian actor first spoke about his orientation in 2012, during an interview with Canadian magazine FYI. When asked about his proudest achievement, he replied, “My relationships with my family and my friends. My companion Rainer Andreesen and I have been together almost 13 years in Greenwich Village. We both love New York.” He further confirmed it in 2013, stating, “I don’t really talk about it but everybody knows.”

15/34 SLIDES © Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Skyville

Melissa Etheridge

The singer-songwriter revealed that she was lesbian at the Triangle Ball in January 1993. She noted, “I think one of the many fears people have about homosexuality is around children. I think that the more gay parents raise good, strong, compassionate people, the better the world will be.”

16/34 SLIDES © Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Wentworth Miller

The “Prison Break” actor came out in August 2013, when he posted a letter on Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLAAD) website declining an invitation to attend the Saint Petersburg International Film Festival. He wrote, “As a gay man, I must decline. I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”

17/34 SLIDES © Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Sports Spectacular

Sean Hayes

Hayes, who is best known for his portrayal of Jack McFarland in “Will & Grace,” appeared to discuss his sexuality during a 2010 interview with The Advocate magazine. He stated, “I never have had a problem saying who I am. I am who I am.”

18/34 SLIDES © Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Ian Thorpe

The Australian Olympic swimming champion said to British talk show host Michael Parkinson during a televised interview in July 2014, “I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man. And I don’t want people to feel the same way I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay… I am telling the world that I am gay… and I hope this makes it easier for others now, and even if you’ve held it in for years, it feels easier to get it out.”

19/34 SLIDES © Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Lance Bass

The NSYNC singer came out in July 2006, in a cover story for People magazine. Bass stated, “The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say. I don’t think it’s wrong, I’m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life. I’m just happy.”

20/34 SLIDES © Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Jason Collins

In a cover story of Sports Illustrated in 2013, Collins became the first active male player in American professional sports to come out. He wrote, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”

21/34 SLIDES © Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

k.d. lang

The Canadian pop and country singer announced that she was lesbian in The Advocate magazine in June 1992. She stated, “I grew up feeling like there was no one else, no one that I could relate to. If my coming out of the closet makes [my fans] rethink their ideas about gay people, then I’ve done something good.”

22/34 SLIDES © Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Wanda Sykes

The writer, actress and comedian came out during a same-sex marriage rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., in November 2008. She said, “I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. Everybody that knows me personally, they know I’m gay. But that’s the way people should be able to live their lives… I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay.”

23/34 SLIDES © Mike Blake/Reuters

Jim Parsons

In May 2012, a New York Times article confirmed that Parsons was gay and in a 10-year relationship. “The Big Bang Theory” actor spoke about his personal life for the first time in October 2013 to E! News. He stated, “I’ve never considered my relationship with Todd [Spiewak] to be an act of activism. Rather simply, it’s an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs [out]—a regular life, boring love.”

24/34 SLIDES © Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Anderson Cooper

Cooper, anchor of the CNN news show “Anderson Cooper 360°,” came out in July 2012 through an email to The Daily Beast reporter Andrew Sullivan. He wrote, “I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something—something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true. ... The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

25/34 SLIDES © David Livingston/Getty Images

Sara Gilbert

The “Roseanne” actress confirmed being lesbian in July 2010, before the launch of her show “The Talk.” She stated, “I don’t think it will be a problem. I don’t ever really think of things as ‘out ‘or ‘in.’ I just think I am who I am, and when topics come up that are appropriate, I’ll talk about them and share when it seems right.”

26/34 SLIDES © Walter McBride/WireImage/Getty Images

Zachary Quinto

The “Star Trek” actor came out as gay in an interview with New York Magazine in October 2011. He said, “…living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.”

27/34 SLIDES © Erika Goldring/WireImage/Getty Images

Chely Wright

Wright, one of the first country music artists to come out as a lesbian, acknowledged her orientation in May 2010 to People magazine. She remarked, “Nothing in my life has been more magical than the moment I decided to come out.”

28/34 SLIDES © Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Jonathan Knight

The New Kids on the Block member posted on the band’s website in January 2011: “I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay.” Prior to his confirming his sexual orientation, he was outed by pop singer Tiffany, who had briefly dated him.

29/34 SLIDES © Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Meredith Baxter

The “Family Ties” actress came out during an interview with Matt Lauer on the “Today” show in 2009. She disclosed, “I am a lesbian and it was a later-in-life recognition. Some people would say, ‘Well, you’re living a lie,’ and, you know, the truth is – not at all. This has only been for the past seven years.”

30/34 SLIDES © Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Robin Roberts

The “Good Morning America” co-host acknowledged her sexual orientation through a year-end Facebook post in December 2013. She wrote, “At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude. I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health... I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.”

31/34 SLIDES © Mark Humphrey/AP Photo

Ty Herndon

The country singer came out in November 2014 during an interview with People magazine. He stated, “…I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone’s son or daughter or grandchild’s life not be as difficult as mine has been. Maybe they wouldn’t have to go through as much pain and suffering.”

32/34 SLIDES © Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Jussie Smollett

Smollett, who is known for playing Jamal Lyon in the musical drama series “Empire,” revealed he’s gay during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in March 2015. He said, “There’s never been a closet. That I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home… when I say that I don’t talk about my personal life, I’m saying that. But it is in no way to hide or deny who God made me.”

33/34 SLIDES © Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Kristian Nairn

Nairn, who played Hodor in the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” revealed in an interview on a fan site in March 2014, “When you talk about ‘the gay community,’ you are talking about MY community... I AM aware of it yeah, and I think it’s really lovely. Again, it’s a privilege, and I really mean that.” He also added that his sexuality is “a very small part of who I am on the whole, but nonetheless, in this day and age, it’s important to stand up and be counted.”

34/34 SLIDES © Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Sean Maher

The actor, who played a closeted gay man in the crime drama series “The Playboy Club,” came out in real life during an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2011. He said, “I was nervous coming here today because I’ve just never talked about it. But, it’s so liberating. It was interesting to be coming to have a conversation that I was always afraid to have. This is my coming out ball. I’ve been dying to do this.”

Source : http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/celebrity/ian-mckellen-says-it’s-‘un-american’-for-trump-not-to-protect-gay-rights/ar-BBD2XU0

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