Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Michael Douglas all took home Golden Globes this past Sunday for their roles in gay-themed movies. McConaughey played an HIV positive homophobic straight man in “Dallas Buyers Club;” Leto an HIV positive transgender woman in “Dallas Buyers Club;” and Douglas played Liberace in the biopic “Behind the Candelabra.”
Both movies have received critical acclaim, while all three actors have received some backlash for their respective speeches. McConaughey and Leto were criticized for not even mentioning HIV in either acceptance speech while Douglas’ speech has been criticized for not mentioning gay rights and the struggle that his character faced in the closet. In Douglas’ case he also won an Emmy for this role last year where he joked about tops and bottoms.
All three actors had a chance to say something memorable and poignant, instead they resorted to stereotypical characterizations and jokes.
Below are three actors who did right when they won. All three used their speeches to highlight their characters’ struggles.
First is Tom Hanks for his role in “Philadelphia” in which he won an Academy Award for his portrayal of an HIV positive gay man. “Philadelphia” is considered the first mainstream Hollywood film to acknowledge HIV, homosexuality and homophobia.
Next is Sean Penn for his role in the biopic “Milk” in which he won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Harvey Milk, who is considered one of the earliest gay rights leaders in the country.
And lastly is Hillary Swank for her role in “Boys Don’t Cry” in which she won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Brandon Teena, a young transgender man who was raped and killed in 1993 because of his gender identity.
Now tell us what you think.