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Would having a gay main character negatively impact the sale potential of a screenplay and/or limit the potential of a movie being financed? - Question/Answer Now Playing


Would having a gay main character negatively impact the sale potential of a screenplay and/or limit the potential of a movie being financed?

Jun 02, 2011

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Would having a gay main character negatively impact the sale potential of a screenplay and/or limit the potential of a movie being financed? - Question/Answer Q & A Discussion


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sunbird1942: Gay Cops
at Jun 03, 2011 - 9:51 PM
In the [1987 Edgar Award winning] TV Movie version of Jonathan Kellerman's novel "When The Bough Breaks," Alex Delaware's (played by Ted Danson) cop buddy, Milo Sturgis (played by Richard Masur) asks him for help. Milo is a gay police detective. He is gay in the novels and was in the TV movie. Having a gay cop opens up all sorts of sub-plots - I think I'll include one in my third novel ;-). Below is a question asked of Jonathan Kellerman re Milo and his full answer.


Where did Milo come from and why is he gay?

It's funny how many people claim to know the real-life person from whom I developed Milo. The truth is, I made him up out of whole cloth. I decided he would be gay because the notion of yet another tough homicide cop seemed hackneyed and boring. Back when I wrote the book, the Los Angeles Police Department denied the existence of gay cops and I thought that might create some interesting tension.

I knew gay people in positions of authority who went about doing their job without their sexual preference mattering. The point I wanted to make was: who cares what someone does in bed? In 1981, that was a radical proposition. 
Temujin: Eether or either?
at Jun 03, 2011 - 10:27 AM
Excellent response from Robert McKee.
I have an analogy for thought.
In the UK there is a terrific journalist who is black. Works for the BBC. Some time ago, he and his excellent work (he's becoming a protagonist in my analogy) were being discussed and an observer mentioned he was a great black journalist.
Whoaaaaaa!
The listening broadcaster said abruptly, "He is a great journalist. Period!"
So with gay this's and that's.
Seems to me it's time that America started to dis-distinguish it's heros and villains.
I can see there 'could' be (depending on the depth and sensitivity of the writing) something to enhance in a sexual orientation but on the other hand if a heo is gay - so what? is he a hero characterisation deep down is the question I ask myself when writing a character with idiosyncrasies or orientations!
Wanda Sykes? the recently 'outed' black lesbian comedian thinks it's harder explaining her gayness than her blackness.
Seems to me she as a comedic characterisation is in a win win situation. On the other hand if she was a hero of another story, she should avoid both issues entirely!
Good luck with your formation of your character.

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