In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today show, actor Rupert Everett lashed out at Hollywood, calling it a "heterosexual business" — and complained about stars like Jennifer Aniston.
Speaking with guest host Evan Davis, Everett lamented, "Showbusiness is ideally suited for heterosexuals… It's a very heterosexual business. It's run mostly by heterosexual men… and I think the position of women in showbusiness is quite difficult."
If you look at the idea of a drunk woman in showbusiness, on the skids, age 50; and a drunken man in showbusiness on the skids, the drunken man gets an awful lot of support. And the woman is a slut. There's a very sexist attitude.
Everett went to to say that while Hollywood pretends to be liberal, it is in fact very conservative. He then explained that some people's film careers are "sustained by the business." He claimed he was not going to start naming names of people whose films have not succeeded at the box office, but noted that with certain folks, the "powers that be" have decided that they are "the right people for the business."
And then he said:
Okay, something will go wrong. Like Jennifer Aniston will just have one too many total flops. But she's still a member of that club. And she will still manage to — like a star forming in the universe — a whole lot of things swirling around and suddenly solidifying into yet another vital tasteless romcom: a little glitter next to the Crab Nebula.
Ridiculous, and yet: You know exactly what he means. Very few of the films Ms. Aniston has done lately — Picture Perfect, Along Came Polly, Rumor Has It, Friends With Money, Love Happens, The Bounty Hunter, The Switch — can be considered quality work, much less hits. But her value as a star is not diminished. Her career is still thought of as successful. Meanwhile, there are many truly talented actors — men, gay men, older women, women of color — who would never have a series of box office failures and remain magazine cover-worthy American sweethearts. (Or who don't even get a chance to make a crappy romcom.)
Still: It's somewhere between ballsy and terribly rude of Rupert Everett to come out swinging like that; maybe since, after he came out, he didn't land work for ten years, he's feeling bitter. But when asked to comment on Richard Chamberlain's recent advice — that gay actors should remain in the closet — Everett quipped: "I think it's very sensible." He went on to say: "If hadn't been such a sex maniac, who wanted to go to raves and circuit parties, I would have definitely stayed in the closet as well. I don't think there's anything wrong with it."