Kit Harington isn’t here for Hollywood’s discrimination of openly gay male actors

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Elena Chabo
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The Game of Thrones actor says Hollywood casting sees homosexuality and masculinity as incompatible in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival   

In an interview for his new film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, actor Kit Harington told Variety of his frustrations with the casting – or lack of – of out gay male actors.

“There’s a big problem with masculinity and homosexuality that they can’t somehow go hand in hand,” the Game of Thrones actor said. “That we can’t have someone in a Marvel movie who’s gay in real life and plays some super hero. I mean, when is that going to happen?”

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan sees Harington take on the titular role of a TV star who hides his sexuality because of the threat it poses to his career. It’s a position that co-writer, co-producer and director, Xavier Dolan explains as a reality for many actors.

Speaking at the festival alongside Harington and co-stars Emily Hampshire and Thandie Newton, Dolan spoke about how social media has changed things in the last few years and how many young queer actors and actresses have used the space to come out.

“Does that mean that the industry has changed in how it regards these talent? And the opportunities that it wants to, or doesn’t want to, offer them and provide them with?” Dolan asked. “They say ‘I’m now free, but I also know that I’m not gunna get the career I once wanted but I’m in peace with that because at least I can be who I am.’”

There so much work to be done if revealing one’s sexuality is still damaging to an actor’s prospects. 

Harington is one of countless straight actors to have taken on queer roles on screen, many to great critical acclaim. The number of straight actors in LGBT roles is a debate all of its own, as is the need for greater and more diverse queer characters. And Harington using his platform to call out Hollywood’s reluctance to cast LGBT actors in heterosexual roles further fleshes out the vital changes that need to be made to move the industry toward equality.

Image: Getty