Agency who turned away an actor because it ‘already had a gay client’ is closing
An acting agency who rejected an actor because they already had a gay client is to close after a number of its clients left.
Joseph Segal, a London based actor, was applying to agencies to represent him when he was rejected by one because of his sexuality.
In a rejection email tweeted by Segal on March 10, the unnamed agent stated that as part of ‘keeping a balance’ between clients and the industry needs, they would be unable to represent the actor.
The email then said: “Moreover, we already have a gay actor on our books and also a musician/actor of the same age, so we feel there would be a clash.”
Although Segal did not publically name the agency that rejected him, the agency informed its existing clients of the issue before issuing an apology to the actor.
The agency’s statement of apology included: “We have told all our clients about this incident, we believe it is important for us to be open and honest with all our clients.”
Two days later, Segal tweeted on behalf of the agency to say that they would be closing.
He wrote: “Thank you for your support and response. The agency will close after a number of its clients leaving.
“This was an inexperienced agency, who I now know, was not a member of the necessary associations.”
As part of their apology, the agency offered to donate money to the charities of Segal’s choice, MIND and the LGBT Foundation.
After his rejection, Segal told PinkNews how the email was different from any rejection he had received in the past, and that he was surprised that his sexuality had been used as a reason not to represent him.
He said: “I was confused and then after a while upset.
“Usually agents reply with ‘not looking for any new talent at this time’ or ‘we already have an actor of your age/look/skill.’
“I didn’t ever imagine they’d use my sexuality as an excuse not to consider me.”
Segal continued to say that he was not the first actor to have faced discrimination based on his sexuality, but that this was ‘on another level.’
He said: “I feel sorry for the only gay actor they have on their books.
“I am sure I am not the only one who has faced something like this, I know in the past being open about my sexuality has unfortunately meant that I am somewhat pushed aside, but this is on another level.”
After his initial tweet, Segal was greeted with a swell of support from a variety of people, including Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis.
In their apology to Segal, the agency wrote: “In light of what you have brought to ours and so many others’ attention, we offer our sincerest of apologies to you and anyone else who may have taken offence.
“After speaking with you in private we both understand your response and regret our actions. We did not in any way mean to cause you any hurt or anger.
“We feel ashamed about it, so ashamed we feel unable to defend it. When choosing clients we look at all aspects the artist brings to the table and at no point should we have commented on your sexuality.”