John M. Becker

Billy Crystal Wants TV to Stop Shoving Gay Stuff in His Face

Filed By John M. Becker | January 19, 2015 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Billy Crystal, internalized homophobia, PDA, same-sex affection

billy-crystal.jpgComedian Billy Crystal, who in the 1970s portrayed the first regularly-appearing gay character on network television, isn't comfortable with some of the gay content on TV these days. According to the Independent, Crystal recently told members of the Television Critics Association that he thinks certain gay scenes go too far:

Speaking during a panel interview in Pasadena, the actor said: "Sometimes I think: 'Ah that's too much for me'.

"Sometimes, it's just pushing it a little too far for my taste and I'm not going to reveal to you which ones they are. I hope people don't abuse it and shove it in our face to the point where it feels like an every-day kind of thing," Crystal added.

Crystal contrasted today's gay-themed television content with his experience playing Jodie Dallas on ABC's Soap from 1977-1981:

"I did it in front of a live audience," recalls Billy of Soap, "and there were times where I would say to [the actor who played his boyfriend], 'Bob, "I love you,' and the audience would laugh nervously, because, you know, it's a long time ago, that I'd feel this anger. I wanted to stop the tape and go, 'What is your problem?' Because it made you sort of very self-conscious about what we were trying to do then.

So let me get this (ahem) straight, Billy: now that television writers/producers/actors are getting more comfortable depicting the everyday realities of gay peoples' lives, loves, and relationships -- as opposed to the more problematic portrayals of yesteryear -- you think things are going too far? Sorry, no: people need to see more same-sex intimacy, not less. If that makes you uncomfortable, that's not because the content is inappropriate, it's because you haven't resolved your internalized homophobia.

UPDATE: Crystal has "clarified" his remarks -- sort of.

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