Gay Hollywood is thankfully much more populous than it was when I first came out in like... 2008, I think. Back then, we had, like, Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, a gaggle of Will & Grace actors, and Candis Cayne in Dirty Sexy Money. (Which I watched late at night after my parents went to sleep.) But even still, there isn’t an abundance of out gay actors, nor is Hollywood tripping over itself yet to open up roles and avenues for gay things to exist. The pool is mostly kiddie-sized. So imagine my surprise when I read that, allegedly, former Teen Wolf actor Charlie Carver was slapped by another gay man he’d worked with at an Emmys party in 2015, for being too effeminate “around people in the business.” Just who was it, exactly?
In a recent interview with Variety, Charlie Carver, who is promoting upcoming Netflix movie The Boys in the Band, claims a gay man he had worked with previously criticized him three separate times for being too obviously gay around Hollywood types. At an Emmys party in 2015, while waiting for the valet, Carver says he encountered his co-worker again, who slapped him. As Carver tells Variety: “It wasn’t playful but intentional, pointed and meant to be instructive. A slap. I told him that if he ever touched me again, I would name him.” Carver adds that at that moment, he said to himself: “I can’t do this. I cannot police myself in that way.” He then came out, a few months later, in January 2016, on Instagram.
I wouldn’t say I was stunned when I read this anecdote, as I don’t think Carver needs this experience to be overly sensationalized. But my emotions did border on shock, as the story feels like something one would read in an autobiography about Hollywood in the ‘80s, from an actor who’s been out for decades. It absolutely does not sound like a happening at an Emmys party in 2015.
But who could possibly have slapped Charlie Carver?
Immediately, let’s rule out the cast of The Boys In the Band, as I can’t imagine Carver would share such an anecdote about one of them while promoting the film. That eliminates director Ryan Murphy, and actors Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Matt Bomer, Tuc Watkins, Michael Benjamin Washington, Brian Hutchison, and Robin de Jesus as culprits. (I generally don’t think any of these men would slap someone for being too effeminate in public, anyway.) His other projects, around and before 2015, don’t reveal much either. He did star in Teen Wolf with former blackface enthusiast Colton Haynes, but Haynes had Carver at his wedding in 2017. Further back, Tuc Watkins was the only notable out gay actor on Desperate Housewives—another dead end. (Hawaii Five-O and The Leftovers presented similar dead ends.)
Carver also never specifies if the man in question was even an actor. He could have been an executive, or a producer, or a writer, maybe even a showrunner. He’s only described in the interview as a “coworker.” It would actually surprise me less if it weren’t an actor, as Hollywood power players notoriously loathes casting gay people at all, considering the dearth of roles about gay people who go to straight actors. (Same goes for roles about trans people, too.)
If the man “ever touched me again,” Carver says he would name him. I doubt that will happen. I have a few ideas, but expressing them might accidentally out someone, which isn’t productive either. (It has to be a closeted actor, right?) Instead, I’ll just have to wait for Carver’s memoir or confessionals in like, 30 years, when 2010s Hollywood is ancient history. Until then, let me waste some time and see what’s up with menace Ryan Murphy’s The Boys in the Band remake.