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Love, Simon’s Greg Berlanti: Gay execs stopped me casting gay actors

Patrick Kelleher May 2, 2019
Greg Berlanti says gay execs stopped him casting gay actors

Greg Berlanti (Emma McIntyre/Getty)

Love, Simon director Greg Berlanti has said that gay execs stopped him from casting gay actors in straight roles early in his career.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on April 30, Berlanti said: “Early on in my career there were gay execs and gay casting people who were the least likely to let me cast an actor they knew was gay in a straight part.

“These were the individuals who knew how important it would be,” he added.

Love, Simon director Greg Berlanti wants writing rooms to ‘look and feel like the rest of America’

Berlanti—who is also known for his work on TV shows such as Arrow, Supergirl, Brothers and Sisters and Dawson’s Creek—did not go into more detail about what gay execs blocked gay actors.

The openly gay Love, Simon director also spoke about the need for diversity in writing rooms in Hollywood and on production floors, saying he looks forward to a day when the industry starts to “look and feel like the rest of America.”

Berlanti has a long history of championing gay characters in television and film. While working on Dawson’s Creek, the show had its first same-sex kiss.

“Early on in my career there were gay execs and gay casting people who were the least likely to let me cast an actor they knew was gay in a straight part.”

— Greg Berlanti

He once told The Hollywood Reporter that he experienced “resistance” in featuring a gay character on the show.

“When we did the Jack kiss on Dawson’s Creek, everyone was tentative. But I took over the show, and that was an important thing to me. If we were going to bring the character out, it seemed silly to me that he couldn’t kiss.”

Greg Berlanti says gay execs stopped him casting gay actors
Love, Simon director Greg Berlanti with his husband Robbie Rogers (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty)

He also said he was prepared to quit the show if they did not allow the same-sex kiss.

Later, Berlanti introduced primetime television’s first recurring transgender character on Dirty Sexy Money.

Greg Berlanti set to make biopic about Hollywood actor Rock Hudson

After the huge success of Love, Simon—which was hailed as the first major studio Hollywood film to focus on a gay teenage romance—Berlanti is set to make a biopic about actor Rock Hudson.

Hudson became one of the highest-profile victims of the AIDS crisis when he announced in July 1985 that he had the virus. He died just three months later.

It has been a busy few years for Berlanti. In 2016, he and his then boyfriend, soccer player Robbie Rogers, welcomed their first child, Caleb, via a surrogate.

In 2017, the pair announced that they had gotten married with an adorable family wedding photo posted on Instagram.

Rogers is a retired Leeds United player and came out as gay in 2013 after retiring from English football. He later signed a contract to play for US team LA Galaxy.

More: Film Reviews, Gay, greg berlanti, love, Love Simon, Simon, Television

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